Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 34

BEADS OF JOY 3-31-12 “Love Shared is Love Gained”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 34
My Friends,

Today I am putting a little different twist on the blog. I have future plans for a series like this, but last night while driving for whatever reason; I was thinking about my grandparents. So today I'd like to touch on the love they shared, the knowledge I gained and where so much of who I am is from them. Just to let you know, this is my mother's mom and dad. My grandma passed away many years ago, it crushed me, I loved her so much. All the cousins asked me to do the eulogy, omg; I cried and cried, that was so hard to do. And my grandpa, you all know him, his photos are in my album, he just passed away last year. These two people played such a dynamic role in my life, I don't know if they did all they did consciously; or it was just in their genes to be the way they were. One big thing I have learned is never think your role as a parent, or a grandparent or a friend or a sibling or whatever is not important, because it is. And I think the greatest wisdom I gained is that "knowing" that you know it is important allows you to "do it right" for everyone. You know what I mean. If your head is screwed on straight and you know your words will hurt or help, you'll always do the right thing. I miss my grandma and my grandpa.

Well; let me welcome everyone into my world again. It's not all that crowded, open all the doors, there's room. OK. I'll speak up so everybody can hear me. LOL, I'm crazy I know. Let me tell you, I grew up in the school of ole ways. Family was everything, literally. Every single weekend growing up, if we weren't camping or traveling, we were at my grandparents’ house, my cousins, my aunt and uncles, you name it, we spent major time together growing up. I so miss them days, and all those wonderful people. Well my mom's parents’ house was common place for me. Gramps use to take me fishing and we'd go on the ham radio and me and grams use to chat and chat and chat and cook and she was the best. She introduced me to Our Lady when I was really young (my eyes are filling with tears as I type). She knew she just knew that I needed our Blessed Mother and Her Son in my life. She planted many precious seeds in my heart through the years, many that would grow for eternity. Please all you grandmas and grandpa's out there. PLEASE share our Lady with all your young grand kids. And do it in a private super special way, one that would be engraved in their hearts for future reference and future wonderful memories. Omg my heart fills with tears of sorrow and joy, grandma always told me how special Our Lady was to her. I think of that so often.

My grandma use to have this HUGE Blessed Mother statue on her dresser, there was always prayer cards and rosaries and I remember even dried out roses. I really remember that statue. She would always touch it as she walked by it. In detail I remember one of the earliest conversations, I have shared this before. She and I were in the living room, she called me over to her, and she was holding her rosary beads. She huddled me next to her, she was such a special loving grandma. I miss her so much. I wish my kids knew her. Back to the story: She brought me close to her, and asked me, "Do you know who the two most special women in my life are?" I don't remember answering, but I remember just looking into her eyes. She said, "my kid sister Helen, and our Blessed Mother." I didn't know what to say. She then showed me her rosary beads, she told me she always prayed her rosary and talked to our Lady. I remember enough at the time, that I honestly didn't know exactly what she meant about all that stuff. I was an altar boy back then, but we weren't at that time a really religious family in any way. But grandma knew to planting the seeds. At her funeral I noticed she wasn't holding her rosary beads. I cried so much, I put mine in her hands. I remember saying, "she has to have her rosary beads when she sees our lady." Please grandma's we need more grandmas like mine out there, and I know many of you are... THANK YOU. That part of her is so engraved in who I am today. She loved our Lady so much, like I do. It's incredible.

Now let me tell you about my Grandpa. He is so cool, I love this guy. In the Navy he was a boxer, so he was tough, but incredibly loving. He worked for over 40 years at P&G as a welder. I am so proud of him. He is super smart to this day when it comes to any kind of math. He even challenges my Charlie, his great grandson, it's so cute. And growing up every one of us grandkids knew our multiplication and division by heart, if we didn't know it when asked; we had us write it out ten times while we were visiting... I know; omg. But I got to tell you, when us cousins talk about the ole days and we look back and see that as a fond memory, really we do. Grandpa wanted all of us to be good in math, he always said, we need to know it in everything we do, because math is at work and at home in everything. He is right, just think about it. I miss the days I use to spend time with him. We use to go fishing ALOT! Grandpa use to treat me to breakfast before we went fishing. We'd talk about what we were going to do; and school and that I would be going to college. Right. LOL. He'd tell me all the rules so I wouldn't get hurt or lost in the dark by the beach. Once we got to the beach, he'd help me with the "waiters" that's the long boots/pants you wear so we can walk far into the water and fish, they were so cool, he always had a pair my size. I really miss him now. When I was over the road driving for a year, every couple weeks I’d send him “fishing” postcard from whatever state I was and I’d write, “I love you so much.”, “I miss you with all my heart.”, “I am so proud you are my grandpa.” He and I talked on the phone every once in a while when I was out there, he told me, he loved all the postcards, and he even put them up on the wall... That is so cool!!

My goal here today is that you are thinking of your own wonderful memories, or the wonderful memories you'd like to give your grand kids. Sometimes just sharing one’s own love for their own family, allows others to gain from it, as well as I do. Please take this message, capture it in your heart, and share its core (LOVE) with everybody. Engrave your love for them into their hearts. It'll last for eternity, I promise you it will.

Today's Challenge: To be that loving parent, grandparent, sister, brother, friend. And always be that person to everybody. Build memories with LOVE.

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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 33

BEADS OF JOY 3-30-12 “The Rosary – Fills Your Heart with Joy”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 33
My Friends,

The Joyful Mysteries: Time to Spread the Joy

Joyful Mysteries
1. The Annunciation – Live a humble life before Jesus.
2. The Visitation - Love your neighbors ungrudgingly, be forgiving in love.
3. The Birth of Christ – Embrace poverty, and protect life at all stages.
4. The Presentation in the Temple – Obey God, live your life pleasing to Him.
5. The Finding in the Temple – Lets hearts be filled with an eternal Joy.

The Luminous Mysteries: Time to be of Service

Luminous Mysteries
1. The Baptism of Our Lord – Be open to God, Jesus, the Spirit and Mary.
2. The Wedding at Cana – Go to our dear Blessed Mother to be with Jesus.
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom – Live a life desiring to live it holy.
4. The Transfiguration of Our Lord – Believe in Jesus’ True Divinity.
5. The Institution of the Eucharist - Love Jesus openly in the Eucharistic.

The Sorrowful Mysteries: Time to grieve with Compassion

Sorrowful Mysteries
1. The Agony in the Garden – Sorrow for my sins and be in the will of God.
2. The Scourging at the Pillar – Sincere mortification (more self-control).
3. The Crowning with Thorns - Courage to live with morals.
4. The Carrying of the Cross – Patience with others and myself.
5. The Crucifixion – Perseverance in doing God’s will, no what the cost.

The Glorious Mysteries: Time for Unending Joy

Glorious Mysteries
1. The Resurrection – Faith that all things, exactly as God’s will is for us.
2. The Ascension – Hope that even in the darkest of times, God shall prevail.
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost – Deep, sincere, devout Love of God.
4. The Assumption - A Happy Death and true love for our Blessed Mother.
5. The Coronation of Mary - Trust in Mary's Intercession for us.

Today’s Challenge: Embrace the Rosary, make it your most favorite, most beloved devotion.

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 32

BEADS OF JOY 3-29-12 “Rosary Beads of Joy”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 32
My Friends,

Wow, now I get the chance to share about one of the most precious parts of my life. I am ever grateful that the kids at St. Patrick's Church who gave me the title "Rosary-Man", that couldn't sum up my life more perfectly than that. Those little beads represent more than a "Hail Mary" or an "Our Father" in my life. Each bead draws us ever so much closer to our Lord. Each bead with His mother's help draws us ever so much closer to our Lord. Are you starting to see a pattern? LOL. These fantastic little beads mean so much to me; not the actual beads (you understand), but the fact that they draw me ever so much closer to my Lord. I always have my Rosary Beads with me. Because I do prayer the Rosary multiple times throughout the day. Way back when I was in business with my dad, I literally did just that, almost like an addict would feed their addiction secretly every chance they got. He and I were in business for almost twenty years. And long before Pope John Paul II added the Luminous Mysteries, I use to pray decades for many scriptures from the Gospels. Celebrating our Lord's mysteries, miracles and parables. I consider my life fully dedicated to the JOY of the Rosary.That's where I get "Gospel Decades" from.

Now many of you know, many of the secrets that give me the overflowing endlessly abundant Joy that I am always talking about. With that said, let it be known that it's these beads that hold the greatest percentage of where it all comes from. "Beads of Joy" are just that to me. If I had to grab onto one thing (possession) and in the end have nothing else, I would make sure I had my rosary beads. I am a very simple person, I still have the very first set of rosary beads my mom got me in 1983, and yes I use them and I encourage my family use them from time to time, when we are at Mass. I also treasure the very first mission rosary beads I ever made in 1989 (those are the ones I use every single day). Those two sets of beads are so precious to me. If you were to see them, you'd think they were a hundred years old from all the wear and tear and all the years they have been around. Yet I cherish them. They represent a twenty nine year journey to Jesus with Mary by my side. There is something about them "Rosary Beads" that sparks a tremendous amount of Joy in my heart and in my soul. I see them as my link to my Lord and His Precious Mother.

So does it appear that I am addicted to the Rosary? I think so, but I think of it in a good way. I am addicted to how wonderfully special it is to chat with Jesus and His Mother every single day. And I think the most special part of the Rosary, is when I get to share the joy of it with others and pray the Rosary with them. My life is fully 100% devoted to spreading the Joy of these fantastic fabulous precious beads and to tell everyone about how beautiful our Lord's mother really is. I shall have on my tombstone, "Beneath this ground the Rosary Man is buried. - Free rosaries available on the left side of the tombstone." LOL.. Ok, maybe a little insane I guess. I really don't care if no one knows my birth name, I am so honored that the kids at my church (St Patrick's - Milford, PA) gave me that name. For all of you who don't know the story. Many years ago we had a Rosary Maker's Guild, and I coordinated all the supplies, and did all the shipping. All that was pretty much done in the sacristy, but because of the popularity of it all we always had friends over the house swapping out supplies and even in the church parking lot. Well the kids always referred to me as "The Rosary Man". I fell in love with that title, so I adopted it way back then, and still from time to time now, hear that. Since we have moved back, just mentioning that title, many of the kids remember me. That is so cool.

My tendencies at times always draw me to the mysteries. Meaning that I look at life through the eyes of a Rosary, hence through the Gospel. Did that make sense? I know it didn't fully, sorry, I just like making up words and phrases. This life we live in is so temporary, and I don't mean that in any other way, than in relations to eternity, all these years here are nothing. So while we are here let's make the most of it and have the most joyous time here. I really wish that you to have the same type of crazy Love Joy that I have over the Rosary. It is the most incredible feeling every single day. Jesus is the center of every single thing I do, in my prayers, my thoughts, my writings, etc. And I find that the Rosary keeps me right on track each and every day. Many a times, I have prayed a decade of, "Jesus, I trust in You." Like I say, I am really into the Rosary and I so much enjoy praying to my Lord with them precious beads. I hope y'all don't think I am weird with all this, but this is who I am. "The Rosary Man." And I encourage you to be “Rosary Women and Rosary Men”…

Today’s Challenge: Share your story, your “Rosary Story”, it with spark JOY in your heart, and you will really enjoy sharing your story and your love of the Rosary with everyone.

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 31

BEADS OF JOY 3-28-12 “Suffering Has Saved Many”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 31
My Friends,

There are many who often wonder why Christians for example embrace pain and suffering. It's actually a really simple thing to understand once you understand the wisdom in it. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, "Though pain never turns into a pleasure, a pleasure can turn into a pain." Think about that. You can see that transition is so true. Tickling for example can be fun, but if overdone it becomes annoying and it almost hurts. Same with some addictions many of us have. Some of the carnal ones that begin with pleasures of sorts, but when seen in God's eye they are sin, and sin only separates us from God creating pain. Another way we can see it is like this; how many people on their death beds who were put there by the pleasures of alcohol, wild living, drug usage, and so many other things. And at the end of that long or short ride of pleasure they are knee deep in pain and suffering and maybe even dealing with the possibilities of dying at any moment. It is then that so many begin to realize the true value of their life; they see that it is fragile, limited and our actions will indeed determine our future. So many turn to God at that point.

Another insight to all this is best understood by keeping our sights fixed on the next life we are going to be with Jesus after we leave this world, again Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "The Divine Plan is to have real joys in the next life." So our suffering here is but temporary. Now we do know that suffering doesn't always have to be only physical; we can have emotional suffering, mental suffering. Our bodies can experience so much on so many different levels. We need to be in the humility of our hearts to find the joy in having a life of suffering and pain. I will say that for many years we as a family have been faced with many endless, almost relentless attacks from satan on our family. Every single turn we made, every single step we took, there was a battle for survival. We never gave up, but I can say that I at least began to take it for what it was worth. I know that in all things Jesus has His plan for us in our lives; it doesn't matter what we see or think, for He has the plan, we just need to trust in His will for us. I told my dear friend Al Picogna, I surrender to the suffering and I offer all of myself up for God's glory. I will allow it to defeat me, so that in that defeat I offer it all up to God's glory and that turned it around for my defeat against it.

It is said by the American Poet, Franz Werfel "Sickness invites us to heaven or to hell." You see it is because our pain draws us back into ourselves our focus is no longer outside ourselves; and by doing so we will either become so focused on our own selfishness that nothing else will matter and we will be in hell, or it will turn us over to God and heaven will be our destiny. There is much to think about when we are suffering. Jesus immediately recognized the eternal value of suffering. Let's take a look at John's gospel, "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." John 9:1-3. We must embrace the pain and suffering, I know it's always so easy to tell people to do that; but we need to in order that we, you, us, might have the work of God shine through us.

The Question many ask though it's simple is, "What did I do to deserve this?" Why is it we first arrogantly blame God, when instead we should be praying for and thanking God for this suffering? We sometimes in our lives need to be knocked off our horse and land straight on our face in order for us to wake up. Yes it will hurt, but in the end we will realize that we can't control the horse like we thought we could, so we gain a different respect the next time, and heed caution in times of danger we are well aware of that can come. We must be grateful for our suffering, always seek out answers in God's word, "However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." 1 Peter 4:16. I pray that all of us in our own personal sufferings can find a place to love, honor and worship Jesus in thanksgiving for such a blessing.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Take a few minutes and ponder our suffering as we walk through life. And then let’s Thank God for allowing us to suffer and offer it up for His glory. It may be a challenge for those who have life threatening diseases in our face within ourselves or in the life of those we love. Either way ask for God’s strength and move forward in your Thanksgiving.

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 30

BEADS OF JOY 3-27-12 “We Are Not Our Own”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 30
My Friends,

The first thing we must recognize is that we are not our own. Our lives, our bodies, our everything, it all belongs to God. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the ultimate price for us. No matter what we do, no matter what choices we make; no matter what the world would have us to believe, we are God's children. God dwells in each and every one of us; we are His temple through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our "free will" will and can change the last chapter of our lives, but with that said know that God does not abandon us even when we abandon Him. His arms are always open to us. We can commit a hundred billion moral sins, and the minute we turn to Him with a sincere, humble heart, He forgives us and embraces us. That’s a paraphrase from Father Larry Richards.

Here's another way it can be explained. Father Larry Richards from Pittsburgh, PA also said this, I'm not sure if this is also verbatim, but I think it is pretty close. The "sun" in this parable of sorts is referring to Jesus. "The sun shines and the sun will always continue to shine. We can block the sun by putting something over our head, but no matter what we do or where we go, the sun will always continue to shine." God is here for all of us, all of the time; we can try to hide from Him, we can insult Him, and flat out deny He exists. But no matter what we do He will always love us, He will always forgive us. Just remember that even if we lose faith in Him, He does not stop loving us.

The questions to consider are: Do we really recognize that God himself through the power of the Holy Spirit dwells within us? And by knowing this; do we know the Joy that we can have by fully surrendering to God with the faith, hope and love He has instilled within us? There is no limit to how much Joy we can receive from God. Did you know that? I can personally attest to the fact that once you surrender fully to Him, you will be so ecstatic, and so excited, and so filled with so much joy that you will feel like you are going to explode. LOL, I know I talk about this Joy a lot, but that is all part of the overflowing Joy feeling.

One of my biggest objectives I have always had when starting this blog was to do all I can to share all this Joy with all you, covering the entire planet. Not only to just share it in written words, but to do whatever I can to help lead you to attain your own unlimited Joy. Let's put it this way, if the Joy that I have inside of my heart was a fuel (oil, gasoline or propane, whatever), the fuel supply inside of me would last for all eternity, and wouldn’t ever run out. I seriously believe that the joy is inside of me is being way under-estimated. I really believe that the Joy alone inside my heart and soul for my Lord and our Lady is enough of a supply to last for an eternity of eternities. It is truly a most spectacular feeling. LOL, I know many of you told me personally that you to have the same Joy I always speak of; I am so happy to hear that, hoping more and more attain it.

Today’s Challenge: Surrender your life fully to Jesus! Yes that can be a challenge, especially for those who really aren’t ready to take that huge step. Pray about it, really pray about it, and ask God for guidance, your life will be incredible once you seriously do.

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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 29

BEADS OF JOY 3-26-12 “The Annunciation of The Lord”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 29
My Friends,

Today let us look at the first Joyful Mystery - The Annunciation. I hope today's reflection allows you to maybe look into your own lives and reflect on your own view on each of these mysteries. Me, as a dad of five incredible, dynamite kids whom I love with all my heart. I see the annunciation, as a time to rejoice; a "baby" is on the way and we must celebrate, embrace and tell everyone we know that we are going to have a baby. That's the giddy, goofy daddy in me. I am very blessed to have five super awesome kids in my life, and to be part of their lives raising them is such a blessing. I know parents pretty much feel the same way I do about their own children, but I still have to say it anyway, I got the best kids in the entire universe, PERIOD. I pray that in the future, they to have a sincere love and devotion to our Lord and our Lady like I do. I write, not only to share with everyone and help draw everyone closer to our Lord; but I also write, to leave a legacy of faith for many more generations to come in my blood line. The best "thing" to pass through the generations isn't money, or an estate, or whatever; it's our faith. If you’re taking notes: OUR FAITH !!!!! That is the ultimate legacy to pass on through the generations ahead of you in your family.

Let's take a good hard look at Mary's situation. Here she is about fifteen years old, and the Holy Spirit dun got her pregnant. Oh no, this is a bad thing, from a worldly stand point for such a young girl. What does she do? Who does she turn to? How does she not only tell Joseph? But how does she tell her daddy? Most girls look up to their dads and they really don't want to disappoint them. Just as a man's first woman in his life is his mom, the first man in a girl's life is her dad. His role in her life is vital, and critical, not only to how she sees and perceives men in the future, but it also helps her in her spiritual walk. Is her dad like Jesus? Does my daddy really care about me? How do I tell my daddy something that I just know will disappoint him? As stated on EWTN's webpage in regards to St. Joachim, "Nothing is known of St. Joachim save what is told in apocryphal literature. He was a man of Galilee, husband of Anne, and both he and Anne were in the decline of life when Mary was born. Tradition relates that while Joachim was away from home he had a vision that Anne was to be blessed with a child, and that on his return home, his wife ran forth to tell of the visitation of an angel who had revealed to her the same good tidings. There was ancient belief that a child born of an elderly mother who had given up hope of having offspring was destined for some high purpose and would be blessed by all the world." Knowing all that, we can see that Joachim was a man of God. And that influence and the encounter prior to Mary's birth gave him some insight and preparation for her life.

Hine sight is always 20/20. We see the events, we know the outcome, and we know what Joachim had to do. And I would say he did a fantastic job as a faithful, loyal dad. His example and nurturing certainly played a huge role in our Blessed Mother's life. As a dad I see The Annunciation as a time for a dad to embrace his daughter, be open in understanding what has happened and continue loving and trusting that our Lord's hand is in this situation. Also as a dad, I would never turn away from my daughter or son, no matter what, even if they didn't want me. I am sure Joachim's faith and love for God, kept him even closer to God through these difficult times of understanding what was going on. In this mystery as a dad reflecting on the events we now celebrate, I would say to all dads, "No matter what is happening in your children's lives, especially the difficult and misunderstood things; stay by their side showing them love, forgiveness and unfettered support all the way through the situation, never ever leaving their side, and dad's trust in God and that our Lord's hand is in the midst of these things. Never turn away from your kids, no matter what. No one is perfect, no one is superior, and no one needs to be judged so harshly, rather love your kid with the same heart Jesus loves you. Sincerely with all your heart, really be the dad or mom you know our Lord wants you to be." That's what I would say to all parents as I reflect upon this mystery.

And dad's this one’s for you; it's only a rumor, but I believe it to be true, "Only Real Men Pray The Rosary". Yes there is even a group that actually uses that name; but aside from that, the concept holds true, so be a real man, and get down on your knees and pray your Rosary to a mighty, powerful, loving God. Scripture clearly states, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4. Be a Godly example for them. Dads our kids are watching us. So we must as dads, first be an example of what it really means to truly love and honor our Lord, followed by loving and adoring their mom, followed by loving and respecting them. Kids are way more in tune with their parents then their parents are with each other and them. Staying on focus and truth to our faith is critical; we must keep all these things close to our hearts as we move forward raising them. My oldest is twenty three years old, and our youngest is eleven. You honestly never stop being a dad. It's really my "proudest" title. I love all of them, but hearing my kids say, "dad" or "daddy", or "hey you" lol, ok, maybe not the last one. I get all ecstatic and happy thinking about the five most precious gifts Jesus has allowed us to nurture: James 3rd, Christopher, Sarah, Travis and Charlie.

Thank You Lord for entrusting me with 5 awesome kids.
Lord, may we all pray to you, "Jesus, I trust in You."

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Tell your kids how much you love them. We don’t have to get all weird on them, just look them straight into their wonderful precious eyes and open your heart fully; assuring them of your love. And here’s the kicker to today’s challenge. Do this often, pray about how often, but none the less; often… Now that’s a legacy to pass on.

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

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fifth Sunday of Lent 2012

BEADS OF JOY 3-25-12 “If a Grain of Wheat Dies”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Today is the Fifth Sunday in Lenten Season Time B
My Friends,

Today is the 5th Sunday in Lent. This has been a most joyous journey as we draw closer to Easter. The gospel we are reflecting on today is John 12:20-33 (The Coming of Jesus’ Hour and The Voice From Heaven). It is death that inevitably leads us to Life. That’s not so easily accepted by the world we live in. Our old nature, our bad habits, our sinful habits, must be put to death in our lives. So many of us have been enslaved; to those very things for many years in our lives. With our Lord’s help and with Him by our side, He will give us the strength to separate ourselves from our old self, and be Born Again a New Spirit in Him. Jesus challenges us to follow Him, let us get serious and do just that, no more excuses, no more reasoning out specific sins, no more playing games with what sin really is; let us seriously put our old nature out, and let us embrace the New Spirit we have become with Jesus at the center of who we are. Let us never forget, it was Jesus’ Cross that freed us from our sin and worse, our death. We need help and guide and lead one another through all this in life. We can’t be judgmental towards one another. We must remember Jesus forbid us to judge each other; it is His wisdom, mercy and love that forgives us. His compassion for the sinner is endless, nothing is more important for Him than to forgive us and make us clean before God. It is only through God's grace that we will able to confront our sins, and repent and beg God for forgiveness. It's not that we need to beg, He will always forgive us, but we must not be so assumptive and arrogant, for that would only lead us to more sin. Instead in humility let us approach Him.

We can also reflect on our past ignorance that has led us into our own personal sinful affairs. I would think that since Jesus had only just begun His ministry, so much that He was teaching still wasn't heard. Many were probably living a life that for whatever reason, may have thought, "there is no God. So what difference does it make what I do." Their faith was not alive, until they met Jesus, Son of the Most High God. Their hearts and soul were open to the truth and it was the "truth" in Jesus that sets all of us free. What an absolutely exciting feeling that is when we know Him and He forgives us for all the evil we have done. No one on planet earth has any power to do such a wonderful loving thing like that for us.

Do we seriously know the joy that can be found in a really good open honest confession? We are accountable to God for the things we do in this life. I know many people live a life that obviously doesn’t reflect such sediment; but in the end it's true, we are all accountable for our own choices and decisions. That's why we don't have any right to judge one another, instead we need to be loving and compassionate to one another helping one another defeat the sin. Do we know another very powerful, extremely eternal gift that God gave each of us? Each other!!! That's right we have one another for all eternity to share God's love with each other. That's why we must do what we can to help one another to eternity. Take a good hard look at all the wonderful friends you have in your life. How many really know Jesus? How many do you love that you know don't know Jesus. I know what you're probably thinking, "should I share Jesus with them?" My answer is yes, but in each situation, we need to approach that differently. Some may just need your prayers, others might need someone to love them, or forgive them. But be compassionate. When they see you, they need to see Jesus. There's an ole song that goes like this, "They will know we are Christians by our Love...”

What can we do now in our lives, so that we to can confront our own sins and bid them farewell? For starters let us not look upon anyone else, but only ourselves. Look in the mirror; it's that person who needs your attention and the old self removed. Each of us makes our own self accountable for the sin that we commit; we will become a more God fearing, God loving world. Jesus gave us a warning against these things. "Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?" Matthew 7:1-4. AMEN!! In other words, why are you noticing that little spec of annoying sin in your brother's eye, when you have such a huge plank of sin in your own? Let's live a life pleasing to God. Sin only offends Him and further alienates us from Him. Here is a very insightful verse, "To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted." Titus 1:15.

Today's Challenge: Frequent Confession. The church requires once a year. Fr Larry Richards recommends once a month, he says it's good for the soul. I can't help but to agree. Consider this simple thought of cleanliness: When our pots and pans get dirty, they must be cleaned again to prepare healthy, good foods, what must we do? Clean them? When? Every single time we dirty them, in fact, it’s usually directly after we dirty them that we clean them. Why? If we leave the old food particles all over them, we run the risk of getting ill and putting our health in danger… Same with our Spiritual Life. We must keep ourselves clean and pure before God.

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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 28

BEADS OF JOY 3-24-12 “Always Praying The Rosary”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 28
My Friends,

Today I'd like to share, some very special personal joy, that I have found in always praying my rosary. As many of you know and some don't, six years ago I began my second career in my life. Yes I am at that age where I have time after spending twenty years doing one thing; I now have the time to do something else. LOL, no I am not going to slip into the goofy mode, though these experiences are so exciting. Well 6 years ago I got my CDL-A License, meaning that I can drive tractor trailers or any other kind of truck. I obviously chose to drive a tractor trailer. And in that choice my first experience was for over-the-road; meaning I'd be transporting goods over the entire continental US, and Canada. Believe me it turned out to be even more fun than it sounds. I was very blessed to have been in pretty much every single major city in the US covering 45 states. And I was even in Ontario, Canada at their John Deere Tractor plant where on several occasions I delivered tractors and tractor equipment to multiple Texas locations. The reason I start out by saying all that is to kinda have you envision the excitement that there really was. And I want to kinda take you there in this blog experience. I do miss it, to some degree. Fr. Gerald Mullally, Jan Martinez and Al Picogna were my three online spiritual buddies on this journey. I pretty much spoke to them virtually every single day I was out there, along with my family each night on video cam.

See there is some significance to this experience. About a year prior to this on Myspace I began a Rosary Ministry (Praying The Rosary Across America), or more commonly known as (Beads of Joy Rosary Ministry). And the object was and still is, to create a fellowship network of people who share the same love and devotion to the rosary. All that was started without ever thinking I'd actually be going across country. I dreamed that maybe one day I would, but I never thought it to be within a year. Anyhow I know that living in a truck don't exactly sound glamorous, but I won't make it sound more than what it is. But I will say that a sleeper in the average tractor trailer, especially if it's the condo style is actually pretty nice. I had a brand new black, all chromed out Peterbilt with a condo sleeper, stereo throughout, a/c - heat, cabinets, closets, refrigerator, bunk bed with normal single mattresses. See what I mean, for one person, or even two, it's pretty nice. I had my spiritual library with me, all my rosary making supplies and my laptop. The laptop was a blessing, I got to see (we have cams) and talk to my family every single night, plus I was able to continue building the ministry on Myspace. By the way in my Myspace albums there is one album showing over a hundred plus pictures I took. Now is all this starting to make sense?

I'd like to try and share some of the most spectacular exciting times and places I have prayed my rosary. Not one day went by that I didn't. I was so blessed to have the opportunity to pray my rosary in 45 states and Canada, countless times. Being I spoke of Texas already, I will say that I spent a lot of time there, I have slept, ate and been in pretty much every single major city in Texas (Amarillo, Lubbock, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi and so many others). And there was this one little town called Anthony, Texas, where I spent a lot time also, I use to food shop in this town, it's on the western edge of Texas, at the first exit on Route 10 as you come from New Mexico. I was there so much that I got to kinda know the people at the supermarket. I made many friends along the way. In Lubbock I met this older gentlemen who as telling me all about his two friends who died in that collapsed bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Rte. 35W. We chatted, he was very emotional about it, I told him I'd be praying for their families and him, he was grateful, it was very touching. I had gone over that same bridge one week prior to its collapse. When it happened, my family, my parents, and friends all contacted me, concerned knowing I was in that area of the country.

My whole experience was very exciting I hope to share much more about it soon. You have not seen the stars in the sky till you get to see them under the dark sky of a desert; when I say you can see probably countless billions of stars, I am most likely under estimating it. I was in Utah, in the San Rafael Valley; I have slept in this desert terrain a couple times by choice. When you pray the rosary in a tranquil place where you can't see or hear anyone or anything except the planet and the stars, it is breathtaking. This place and one other like it was the most incredible place I have ever spent in prayer with God. I felt like Moses. The other place was in Arizona near the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon, where there is a power plant. Twice I delivered huge transistors out of Massachusetts from GE. The trip to that plant was through the Painted Desert. From that location you were looking up the canyon, I have never seen something so beautiful as that. Elevations exceeded 10,000 feet the whole ride up through Arizona. Look through my pictures and you will God's hand. When you pray in this places it is so incredible how you feel and I tell you first hand it changes you; by drawing you ever so much closer to Him. Thanks for coming along with me on this journey, hope you enjoyed the ride.

Today's Challenge: Find that place where you feel like you are face to face with Almighty God. Embrace it, keep it close to you and absorb His love and His presence. We all live near places that are breathtaking. I also find my time before the altar in my church or at the shrine to be that same breathtaking place, especially during Eucharistic Adoration.

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 27

BEADS OF JOY 3-23-12 “Joy - You Too Can Have Some”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 27
My Friends,

Well here we are in the final day and thoughts about Joy for now. Today I hope that I can lead you to some ideas and activities that help spark a new era in your own life spiritually. This is a time for you to experience so much Joy that you can't contain it anymore and all you want to do is share it with others. Just as a side note, remember that just because you are sharing all your Joy with everyone around you, no matter how much you give away, you will never run out. When we are blessed with Joy by God, God sends us a never ending flow of His love, without ever ceasing. For starters I want to say that we need to build our day around Jesus, instead of trying to squeeze Him in somewhere so we can say we "prayed" today. You can make all the money your heart desires, live in the largest most expensive home, drive the newest vehicles, but in the end without Jesus, none of that means anything at all. Now on the other hand, if you have all those things and you have Jesus in your life, then you will be led by God's Holy Spirit to use those blessings to bless others by being a reflection of Jesus through those things.

I like to begin each day with an immediate thought of my Lord, thanking Him for allowing me another day to be with my family and another day to serve Him. I think of that even before I get out of bed. I don't fully recall when and where all that started, but I always think that as I awake. I sort of have a similar approach to going to sleep. For starters I go to sleep when I am sleepy, I never try to force sleep, I tend to inevitable just get out of bed when I do. When I go to sleep, I get into that comfortable position, you know what I mean, the pillow is just right, the covers are perfect, the lighting is dim and the breeze of the fan is perfect, LOL. OK you get the idea. Well as I begin to go to sleep, I close my eyes and look around inside my eye-lids.. Stop laughing LOL. And as I do I ask Jesus to take me on another fantastic journey of dreams in my sleep. Weird I know?? But I like it, I fall asleep fast, many times I see a door open with light, or a window glaring light through it, I basically look for the light in the darkness of my eye-lids. I always find it, and then I move towards it. I figure if I die in my sleep, it must be something like that. It's a cool way to go to sleep.

See how interesting it can be when I bring you into my inner circle of Joy. LOL. You never know what you'll learn about me. Well let's continue thinking about what else can be done so that you to be strange, goofy and overly excited as I am in this life. LOL. You may have heard this, spend time in front of the cross, looking at Jesus hanging there on it. The crucified Jesus is a powerful image when you really understand that Jesus is God and Man and that He was killed because of our sins. We put Him up on that cross. Sit in front of the cross often. I have a 12 inch cross with the crucified Jesus nailed onto it literally. I hold that often and allow His love for me to shine from it. It's heart wrenching seeing someone love sinful old me so much that they would willingly die for me to save me from my own sinfulness. Another thing I do very often is watch The Passion of The Christ. That movie is probably the closest thing to the real violence Jesus experienced. I am willing to bet He was treated even worse. Watch the Scourging at the Pillar scene, it tears my heart out every time I watch it; and I keep watching it keeping my head and my heart focused on what Jesus did for me.

Finally I want to say, you need to spend time in prayer on your knees. In your home, in a chapel, at Mass, become a true person of prayer. As long as kneeling doesn't injure you and you are able to get up, then you need to kneel before Him. He deserves our worship and I believe by doing that often, it keeps our mind and heart in focus that we are kneeling before God, the Almighty God of the Universe. We are not bigger than Him and He is not there for our disposal for whatever we ask, and we dare not treat Him like He is a nobody or just a statement on money. He is God. He is a loving, merciful, caring God, but remember He is still God. And most importantly each day we need to be humble before Him, arrogance and a mean spirit towards Him is no way to show God how much we love Him. Jesus loves us so much, embrace that love that He freely gives us and once you got hold of it, share it with everybody you can.

Today's Challenge: Spend a minimum 30 minutes total a day with Jesus somehow. 15 minutes of prayer, 15 minutes of silence before the cross, be creative and spend time with Him, (Pray The Rosary, The Stations of the Cross). Then build your day around those activities. Your life will never be the same, nor will you every be able to live each day without Him once you begin doing this.

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 26

BEADS OF JOY 3-22-12 “Joy - Overflowing Inside”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 26
My Friends,

As promised today we continue reflecting on Joy. Today I'd like to share how I keep the focus, the thoughts, the faith, everyday throughout the day pondering it in my mind. I never get lost in the confusion of a day's activity such that my mind and my heart drift away from thoughts of my Lord. No matter what is happening to me or around me, I thank Jesus for all that is good, I thank Him for the challenges I don't understand and I pray for the arrogance and ignorance around me throughout my day. I also pray for those I see suffering that I pass, in accidents, or ambulances, and even those in the hospitals I pass. This has become a very natural part of my prayer life. It's all about awareness, and it is through that awareness that the Joy inside me continues to overflow.

I seek nothing for these things, like I said to you on Tuesday; I want to bring you into my inner circle of Joy, so that you too can experience the overwhelming overflowing abundance of Joy I experience every day. I also pray that you are inspired to maybe change your daily lives; so that your everyday is much more focused on Jesus. I realize that still many of you might not understand the high energy and excitement of the entire thought being all wrapped up in Jesus. So I'd like to help you better understand the Joy. Let's say you were to plan an extravagant vacation to the one place you've always wanted to go. And this trip would be for as long as you wish, and there was no limit on what you can do while you were at this place and you'd have a blank check to basically spend whatever you needed while you were there. But there were a few things you needed to do to prepare before heading out. But realized that the excitement and joy that was ahead will be well worth the few things required, and that in doing them, you gladly did them!! You see where I am going with this.

This journey through life now is for that vacation to where we want to go (Heaven), and there are some things our Lord asks of us in preparation of being able to go (Confession, Adoration, Mass, Fellowship, Leading others to Him, and so much more). Now place that overwhelming Joy into your mind and heart thinking about the prior example of that extravagant vacation, and you will begin to see and understand how I can maintain such a super high level of ecstatic Joy all the time. My mind and heart have tunnel vision for God, our eternity and all that God has truly given to us in this life. There is so much here on planet earth that we can complain about, be unhappy with and never find Joy in. But with that being said, we also have so much to be thankful and grateful for. Just having all that Jesus gave us in Him dying for us, is worth more than virtually everything else put together. And I got to tell you, just saying that, thinking that and then typing that further builds up the Joy I already have in my life.

You too can have all this super high level, overwhelmingly exciting Joy in your life. Just keep Jesus as your main brain, heart and soul focus. Love Him above everyone and everything every day. Tomorrow I will dig even deeper into ways that you can have such an exciting experience in this life. I will tell you guys my life isn't all peaches and purple dinosaurs. OK, LOL. See I made you smile. We all face challenges, and losses and heartbreaks, we all do, we wouldn't be human if we didn't. Life was never promised to be some perfect cup of tea, or coffee. The real world kicks in the minute we take our first breathe, so buckle up and hang on. LOL. Jesus needs to be our co-pilot, our wing man, our coach, our lawyer, our doctor, our defensive end, our offensive end. He needs to be entwined in our lives in such, that nothing in our life avoids Him. Once we can establish that thought, it does get rather easy, tomorrow I will share so much more about that.

Today's Challenge: Write down the activities you have every day in your life. (e.g. work, school, volunteer, whatever) next to them honestly write down what or who is the absolute center focus during those times, consciously or subconsciously. If they aren't Jesus or God or Our Blessed Mother, then you need to change it. For me, staying focused on Jesus all the time makes all things good, no matter what I am doing.

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 25

BEADS OF JOY 3-21-12 “Joy - Exciting Daily Thoughts”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 25
My Friends,

Wasn't yesterday’s blog exciting? I hope now, that little by little you are beginning to see how I can stay all wound up like I do all the time, every day. Yes I face challenges, yes I get discouraged, and yes I feel hurt and pain just like everyone else. The difference with all of us is how we deal with it, and embrace that which we have been given by God. I don't see challenges as God punishing me, I don't see it like "woe is me" either. I use to. But understanding what Jesus has done for me has given me a whole new appreciation for my own pains and trials in my life. Today I'd like to reflect on my daily thoughts. What is it that's different about what I think about every day, and what someone who isn't overflowing with joy thinks about? I bet you'll be surprised, maybe even shocked; and then maybe some of you might just say that you understand and that you to think the same as me. No matter how it's understood, please understand now that it's all about Jesus to me in my life. We all have a one way ticket through life. We must help each other along the way, but we can't take away each other’s pain, and we can't prevent or control the outcome of someone’s death. We are individuals in spirit before God at judgment.

This walk, a journey if you will, has many aspects to it. Most of us have families, most of us have jobs, and we all have friends. Entwined in that we all want to incorporate our faith and love for Jesus, and for God. However is it possible when we feel like we are being pulled in every direction all of the time? Great question! Every single day of my life includes thoughts of when I might be with my Lord for all eternity. No it's not a death wish; on the contrary it's a life wish. Today we call it Predestination. I'm really into the definition thing as you have all noticed, so let's see how the word predestination is defined:

Predestination (pre•des•ti•na•tion) 1. The act of predestinating: the state of being predestinated 2. The doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation.

See why I like to fully understand the definitions of a word. Predestination is all about the foreknowledge, we already know the ending. We know Jesus wins this spiritual war on earth. We know that Jesus' death had purpose; we know that God loves us. We know so much about this entire experience of life already that no matter what gets thrown at us, we should be able to handle it. I didn't say we'd get to make the outcome be the way we want it. But by God's grace we will be able to manage our challenges more like Jesus would want us to, that's where Joy comes in again.

On a daily basis, I obviously spend time writing, and planning what I am going to write in each days blog, so those thoughts are always there. But I do far more than that. I think of all the wonderful tools we have that draw us close to our Lord and my heart literally skips a beat, further expanding the depths of my joy. It is so exciting thinking about how I can draw myself and my life even closer to Him. Let's take the bible to start with. That book, those words, the scriptures, the stories, the parables, the people, the miracles, Jesus' words, they all come to life to me in my life. OMG I can go on and on just thinking about how much time I can and I do spend in His word. God has given us a most precious part of His love in His word. Then think about the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus has instilled in each of us. A piece of God through the power of the Holy Spirit indwells in us. And that part of us helps us stay even closer to Him. It's the greatest co-pilot anyone could ever wish they had in their lives. See how Joy comes to life for me. I pray that these blogs spark an overwhelming excitement inside your soul and heart, that you can't even contain it.

See what I am talking about everybody. Now you can see how I think about the bible and how much excitement and joy is jam packed in that wonderful book. See now you can learn of other books that generate similar joy in my life. I have a sort of mini library for personal reflection and spiritual growth that I use to guide me along the way, and help me with my research. Here they are: Catechism of the Catholic Church, St Jerome Commentary, Catch me a rainbow Too (OFS), My Daily Bread, Preparation for Death, Devotion to Mary, Teachings of the Catholic Church Volumes I&II, and so many others. I try to keep my life rich in learning as much as I can about my Lord, my relationship to Him, and His relationship to us; and the more I keep learning the more exciting my life really is. We will continue tomorrow as we further reflect on this Joy inside my heart that I want you to experience, by learning how I keep His image in my mind and heart throughout the day.

Today's Challenge: Find new and creative ways you can make your life an instrument in sharing Jesus with others. Don't be afraid that your joy may overwhelm others; it's funny when I watch people react. If you can, share Jesus with excitement and love.

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 24

BEADS OF JOY 3-20-12 “Joy - Endlessly Overflowing”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 24
My Friends,

This week I am going to pull all of you into my inner circle of JOY. JOY first off is a blessing and without a doubt a gift from God. I know I keep talking about this JOY; I guess it's because I want so much for all of you to really have this JOY alive inside of your own hearts and lives. I get so excited and so thrilled so much with all the JOY I have inside me that I shake my legs at times and many think I have these crazy nervous conditions. But please know that I know they are not nerves, but the overwhelming excitement that is bottled up inside me. That is why I hardly sleep; I have so much energy and excitement from all that Joy. And that's why I get goofy at times, just ask my kids, they say, "dad you are strange, you're always goofy happy". They see me act like a kid so much of the time. It's all because I have this very deep rooted relationship with God our Father and His Son and Our Blessed Mother; and knowing who they are in my life and that one day I will be with them, thrills me to death right now. This life is but a tiny spec of time in the full scope of time when you place eternity into the equation. This is nothing, all we have to do is stay true to God, share Him with everybody, bring as many as we possibly can to know Him, and be loyal to Him and in turn we shall spend all eternity with Him.

That was a powerful first paragraph, I wrote that straight off the cuff, no notes, just a sincere desire to share with you, the JOY I have inside my heart, my life and my soul. I had notes laid out for today's blog, I couldn't even follow them, I am letting the spirit lead right now. When I say that JOY is endlessly overflowing I really mean that. JOY is like an infinite eternity of Happiness all jammed up in the word JOY. Wow, I have no idea what I just typed, hope that made sense. LOL. I promise that within the next four days you will have a much clearer sense of what is going on inside my heart and soul and why I am overflowing with this JOY so much. Just yesterday when I was talking at home with our kids we talked about JOY. They were asking when these difficult times would pass, I told them we need to keep the faith, and all will pass. I then proceeded to tell them about how they to, need to capture the JOY I have, I also told them I know I sometimes strangely express it. LOL. They agreed, and said I do act weird at times.

You see my "weirdness" is just so HAPPY and so JOYFUL, that the worlds as a whole don’t recognize it. So it interprets it as strange, but real true excitement that can't be contained, that can't be held down; that can't be kept to oneself ends up making the person so filled with this JOY seem weird. I personally don't care if I am not understood. But don't prejudge me till you at least, for truths sake, know what the deal with me is. LOL. Back in 1983 my entire world changed when Jesus became the reason for my living. There is no other reason to me that is so exciting. He is the only center, He is the reason for why we are here, He is the one person I would die for. JOY when it is pressed down and transformed by the spirit it makes your spirit so alive that you can't help but be a happy go lucky crazy person. I find that I will be bold in my words, not rude or mean. But I will not be intimidated by anyone seeking to belittle my faith. When I do meet those who are worldly and never intend to love Jesus, my heart is saddened. I don't argue, I listen and I make clear statements about who Jesus is to me, and I pray for them.

Endlessly Overflowing!!How is that even possible? Think of Jesus saying to you, "I have something for you that I want you to keep in your heart, if you'd be willing to embrace me into your life.", and we in turn say "Absolutely Lord, I am willing." And then Jesus turns and gives us the entire universe filled with His love, and He says, "Take all of this and keep it close to your heart, I will be with you always." And we look at it in amazement and say, "Lord, it is so tremendous, so much, however could I possibly embrace, hold and take all of your love into my life?" And He says, "By accepting me into your life all this will be in your heart at all times, and all my love, and all my mercy, and all my joy and happiness will overflow from you, and when it does it will be a direct reflection of me." Now are you beginning to better understand the JOY that is jam packed up inside of me? Tomorrow we will continue these exciting thoughts of JOY.

Today's Challenge: Try being so excited, so thrilled, so ecstatic about Jesus, that your heart can longer contain all of it. So you then express it by telling others about Jesus. It is possible, just keep thinking about Him. Fill your mind and your heart with His love, read His Word and pray.

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

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 23

BEADS OF JOY 3-19-12 “Joseph - Jesus' Foster Father”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 23
My Friends,

We know Joseph was a carpenter, we know he was good and upright man; we know he was Mary's husband, and Jesus' foster father. What other possible things could we learn by the role Joseph played in Jesus' life; and the example he has set before all us as a good husband and an obedient man of God. Yes, Joseph is a descendant of David; he has a most impressive genealogical trace back to David the King. I'm not going to list the entire genealogy that can be found in Matthew's first chapter, but the end highlight states, "and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." Matthew 1:16. Joseph always listened to whatever direction God sent Him, without questioning what he was told. Jesus and Mary's safety were Joseph's first greatest concern and whenever the angel of the Lord warned him he didn't hesitate to listen. "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife." Matthew 1:24.

Joseph lived a life, true to the obedience of God. Today we celebrate the one man who not only was directed and guided by God himself to protect and take care of God's chosen; but who also stood strong closest to them without ever being concerned about himself. His own pride and even respect held no concern to himself; first and foremost he only protected those two blessed chosen ones of God. Let's take a look at scripture and see how loyal Joseph most definitely was. "When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.”Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." Matthew 2:13. Joseph lived a life that was so connected to God that we can learn so much from his example. He and our Dear Beautiful Blessed Mother were two of God's most trusted and obedient children. Jesus was so perfectly placed in the hearts and lives of two of God's absolutely wonderfully loving people.

The example they have given us as parents is unmatched. For their parental ways were so blessed because of their obedience to Almighty God. I can see how we can learn so much from them. Today let's look at Joseph's role in this most blessed Holy Family. I know we only learn and read about Joseph briefly in scripture, but I think there was a reason for that. God placed Joseph in Jesus' path to keep Him safe during His most vulnerable defenseless years of His life. I know both moms and dads read these blogs; but today's celebration is about a Godly man, a loving foster dad, and a most devout husband. I feel both moms and dads can gain much comfort and wisdom from all this. A good dad and a devout husband who has devoted his life and love to be obedient to God; is someone every man should desire to be, and every woman should desire to marry. God's holy and most blessed family show us how simplicity and love are valued tremendously in the success of a God-loving family.

As guardian of the holy family, we can see him as the protector of the church. His bold, selfless life encourages me personally as I hope it does for you. Nothing about Joseph was indeed about Joseph; it was all about Jesus and Mary. What an exciting, thrilling, overflowing joyful way to live one’s life. We need to do the same, centering our thoughts, first and foremost on Him. Jesus' love and concern need to our first focus, followed by loving and adoring His most precious mother. Here is a quote that truly sums it all up for us about Joseph, "He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trust worthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying, "Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." this came from a sermon by Saint Bernardine of Siena.

Today's Challenge: Let us look at Joseph in a new light. His priorities should be ours. As our Blessed Mother is such an example of saying Yes to God and being obedient to Him, so Joseph does the same. Today let us ponder thoughts and prayers of love for dads we know and love in our life. Send them a card, a simple note saying you love them, take them out for lunch or coffee. You will feel wonderful in doing so and so will they.

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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Lent 2012

BEADS OF JOY 3-18-12 “Light Came Into The World”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lenten Season Time B
My Friends,

This has been a most joyous Lenten Journey, I pray that many of you are deepening your own personal relationship with Jesus. Today's gospel has one of the most popular verses in scripture. Today we are reading and reflecting on John 3:16-21 (The Measure of God's Love). "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16. What do we love in this life? Can we ever love God so much as He has loved us? There is so much to think about. Questions race through my head as I read on here. Does God take absolute first place in our lives? Is God's act of love so touching in our lives that we can't help but love His Son? Or do we feel like we may have been forced in this choice because of what God has done, by our guilt? God has a purpose for everything He does for us, but in this act of love, it was purely His love for us that led to this. I do not know the heart and mind of God, but scripture says, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well." 1 John 5:1.

How can we incorporate such a meaningful way to live our lives? If God has offered up His Son, and Jesus willingly died for our sins; what then in this life can we do in return to show our love for God the Father and God the Son? I think a life lived like the life that was given for us, is a great place to start; God the Father and Jesus the Son were humble and sacrificial in their love for us, sinners. Our lives need not be centered on ourselves, but rather on the hearts of others, doing all we can to help one another; that along with a foundation of deep, sincere, devout love for God the Father and Jesus the Son would truly make for a life full of Joy. Can we place Jesus first in our life? Would we willingly do all we had to do, to make sure our love for Him took precedence in all the choices we made? Still so many questions, so many thoughts, hoping and praying that so many of us do just that; put Jesus first and foremost in you’re ever thought.

Let us look at some very inspiring, uplifting scriptures. I really hope and pray that you spend time in God's Word. It is through God's Word that the Joy inside me pours out of my heart onto these blogs. Please take the time to read, meditate, and pray using the word of God as your guide. Enjoy these scriptures: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:38-40. "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." John 15:16

God Loves Us Indeed.

For God knows our hearts
He is the creator of us all,
He molded our minds and knows
Why Jesus had to take the fall.


His Son was the sacrifice
Because of His love,
He hung on a cross and died
And then was raised above.


No one ever loved us
Like God the Father has shown,
My life my love my focus
I surrender so now He can own.

JJR (Jim Dacey Jr OFS)

Today's Challenge: Try to spend time everyday reading and absorbing God’s Word. The challenge in its complete expression is this: Monday’s read Matthew, Tuesday’s read Mark, Wednesday’s read Luke, Thursday’s read John and on Friday’s read The Acts of the Apostles.

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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 22

BEADS OF JOY 3-17-12 “O God, Be Merciful To Me”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 22
My Friends,

For starters Happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody. Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day. Be safe and have fun today. Praise you Jesus, for sharing the exciting joy and wisdom you capture in your parables. My favorite studies and the most joy I have when studying scripture is when I come upon a parable. These gems of wisdom are so exciting; I see a parable with an infinite amount of wisdom that changes with us, depending on where we are in our lives. Today we are reading Luke 18:9-14 (The Parable of the Pharisee and The Tax Collector). The beauty of a parable is that we can see it in different ways at different times. Take for instance a tree! Yes I said a tree, there are times the leaves catch our eyes, maybe it's their colors or their size; other times we notice the branches and maybe how bold or thick they are; and still other times we see the roots, because they are out of the ground and they are huge and beautiful. I can go on and on, just with the tree example, you see what I mean. And in the end, it's still the same tree.

These two men both went to pray before God; and they both came from two completely different classes of people. Yet in God's eyes they are equal to Him. It is the character and words used by each of them that changes the depths of their sinfulness. The big changer here is how they viewed themselves before God. The Pharisee was arrogant and selfish, while being very judgmental about the tax collector. Yet the tax collector was very humble and ashamed; never pointing a finger of judgment at anyone except himself. We can learn so much from this parable. Fr Larry Richards once said, "Jesus Christ commanded us to love, but He Forbid us !, He Forbid us !, He Forbid us ! to judge." He was very clear when he expressed that to us. We must never ever judge anyone for anything. I will be the first to confess before everyone here that I indeed judge, when it comes to politicians and politics. Right here and right now I beg my Lord for His forgiveness for that, as I ask my brothers and sisters to also forgive my arrogance and anger that I share about politics. I promise I will in the future, I will try my best to tame it down and be much kinder in my words. Please feel free to yell at me if I drift, seriously. Thank you!!

In this parable, the Pharisees quickly assumed and judged the tax collector, who was with him; while what appears to be the Pharisee praying to himself. He seemed to be so consumed in his own pride and how he wanted God to perceive him; that lashing out at the tax collector in his words to God made him feel good about himself. This Pharisee used many words, in a most self-righteous way. While the tax collector bowed his head in shame, not even feeling worthy before God to even speak. The tax collector knew his sin separated himself from God; his humility and guilt showed God how sorry he was for his sins. We have a merciful, loving God, a God who by His own words created all things; a God who clearly tells us that our sins separate us from Him. We must be humble, and aware of our own offenses towards God. Let us keep this scripture in mind when we judge others, "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written:'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." Romans 14:10-12.

What can we do? How can we integrate this lesson into our own lives? For starters let us understand the seriousness of our sins and how sin is really offensive to God. We must remember God created mankind to love Him and our neighbor before anything. Adam and Eve found independence in their own free will, and in doing so; they created a wall of shame by putting sin between man and woman and between mankind and God. So through God's love for us, he had to defeat death brought upon us by our sins, by sacrificing His only Son. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16. So Jesus took the heat, and suffered the death penalty for all of us. He died for our sins. "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:24. Our sins are a direct offense and in some ways a deliberate offense against the very blood Jesus has shed. We need to keep that in mind every single time we knowingly sin. The worst sin of all, is that while we know in full knowledge it's sin, we still in complete consent of the will, sin anyway. How horrible and serious that truly is. Let us always ask for forgiveness, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.

Today's Challenge: Let us learn from this. By approaching God with our head held down not up. Pride and arrogance do nothing for our confession, only shame and humility knowing we are unworthy of forgiveness. Let us begin, by being more humble and ashamed of our sins before God; because honestly who are we to be prideful and proud of our sins, or anything we have done right. Jesus paid the price, just look at He who has died for us.

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

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 21

BEADS OF JOY 3-16-12 “We Must Die Detesting Sin”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 21
My Friends,

Our eternity depends on how we live our life. We really need to live each day focused on the end of this life. "A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart." Ecclesiastes 7:1-2, wow, so much wisdom jam packed in those two verses. Everything in between matters, the only thing is that we really don't know how or when the end will come. See once we are dead, it is at that exact moment that it's going to be too late to make things right with God, and make things right with our neighbors. The best way to really see what I think God wants us to is this, here's my analogy: Think of ourselves as an athlete. And at some point in the near future we need to be ready for a big challenge to test our skill (our faith). What would be the best way to prepare for this? Should we wait for the day, and that moment, and then prepare? Of cause not, staying in shape (spiritually) is something we must do all the time so we can remain ready.

Just as an athlete continually prepares oneself for that main event, or the Olympics; we to must always be prepared for the day we to will all face. The day we as children of God, must stand before Him and in that finally phase of our life, so be ready. "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36. also, "You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Luke 12:40. Our lives must be surrounded by the tools (bible, commentary, devotional books, etc), and the coaches (priests, brothers and sisters in the Lord), so that we to can remain on track as we remain prepared. Here is a very insightful thought as we prepare, "The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." Galatians 6:8, we do sow what we reap. The thought of our end here on earth is a gift (predestination) we need to embrace, as we go through each day we have been so blessed to have.

While we are on this journey, a journey we call life; let's try not to risk our eternity by falling pray to the enemy (satan). The enemy is most deceitful and very patient; remember the enemy never sleeps, he will woo our hearts and our interests and before we know it, he will devour us. So let us die to self-first and foremost. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8. The best way to avoid all that could mislead us in our life, is by living a life that places Jesus and others first. "Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39. Following those commandments is the best weapon against the enemy. The enemies greatest tool against ourselves is our own pride and selfish desires. Frequently attend Mass, spend time before the sacrament, go to confession as often as possible. Be prepared.

We all need to take account of our own lives; are we really attached to anything at all on this earth? Is there a person; a place of honor we desire to be; a home we love so much more than anything else in the world; or maybe this life is all about our desire for wealth, or is it our own personal addictions that capture us. Satan uses all these things to keep us from God. One thing is certain, and you didn't need to read this blog to know it: we are not immortal in the physical sense. We will all have to leave this place one day, I find it to be easy to be detached from this world as much as possible; that maybe one of the biggest secrets to my own personal endless overflowing joy. Maybe because I am able to live with "no strings attached" that my spirit feels so free and excited everyday, thinking about and worshiping God with all I got. I could be wrong, but you know the more I see it that way, the more it makes sense.

Today's Challenge: Help someone else on this journey you are embarking. Encourage others to go with you to Mass, and to Eucharistic Adoration and to confession. Share Jesus with everyone, share the one treasure you possess in your heart with everyone.

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

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 20

BEADS OF JOY 3-15-12 “My Confession of The Stomach”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 20
My Friends,

Yes, you read it correctly. I have a very bad habit, most people who really know me, know just what it is. It's eating !!!, HEY what were you thinking? LOL. I confess I love food. I really really really really do, and I will make this very bold statement, I find eating food to be one of the most pleasurable pleasures on earth, especially when I make my Italian food. Anyhow, I am just being honest, and strange and goofy, just taking a break from everything, to make y'all laugh. There's just something so incredible about food. LOL. This is a real confession everybody, I'm not making any of this up. I love food, I love shopping for it, I love cooking it, and then I absolutely love eating it. And I'm not your typical eater, I can easily sit down and eat 1-2 pounds of any pasta, an entire pie, large bag of vegetables, bag of french fries, one or two boxes of cookies (as I am doing that while I type this. lol). I don't know if there is a cure for this, but then I honestly don't believe in my heart, opps I mean my stomach that I want to. This habit, just like I spoke about yesterday has entangled itself in my life. I see it as harmless, I don't think its hurting anyone else, I guess if I start eating off my kids plates... LOL anyhow, see what I mean.

Sin of all sorts blind us, but let's be honest, Gluttony is a sin, and not just any sin, it's a deadly one. In the weeks to come I will write all about that. Today I am at the mercy of my friends, asking them to send me lots of homemade chocolate chip cookies, I LOVE HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. LOL. See I can't help myself, I love food. I think I said that a couple times already here, but I can't help it. Right now I am eating soft peanut butter cookies, they really taste so good. OMG, they taste awesome. LOL. Am I getting a little too weird on y’all? It's the food, it's the cookies, it's the cake, it's the pies, OMG do I love pies (pumpkin and apple and coconut and pecan). Now I am getting hungry. Hey stop laughing at me, it's true, I may have to go get some frozen pies and start cooking them. Oh my, when they are fresh out of the oven do I love them.

So tell me, what you having for breakfast, lunch and dinner today? I love talking about food, cooking techniques, recipes. You know my wife and my kids and my parents, my co-workers, close friends and ok, well I guess most people I spent lots of time with all have one thing in common with what they say to me. "All you do is eat, whenever I see you, you're eating" LOL. Ok, I will admit they are right, but I have a very brilliant response, I usually first say, NO. Followed by, "I only eat one meal a day", and they usually are just as quick witted as I am and say, "What one meal that last all day?". And I go YES !!! YES !!! I love food. Whoever invented food needs to receive an award, it is the most incredible invention since individually wrapped ice cream cones, I can eat a box of them at once. LOL. Ok all things lead to food, many comparisons I make on a daily basis in conversation revolve around food. I am trying to control myself, but all I am thinking about as I type are these cookies, wait I am eating them; I am actually thinking about what I am going to make for breakfast this morning. LOL

I am not going to Food Eaters Anonymous, I have nothing to hide, no need to be anonymous. I want everybody to know so they can send me homemade chocolate chip cookies. LOL. Hmmm… Hopefully at those meeting we are allowed to bring a covered dish, they must have coffee and snack after wards. LOL, I am so sorry, this blogs intention from the start has been to allow you into my life, ok my kitchen. LOL. Just hoping to bring you all some laughter, and huge smiles you can't get off your face, for the rest of the day, just at the very thought of food, because of me. And sharing a pie would be fun, I'll bring the cookies and the pie. LOL. This was a really fun blog. See all this time I have been in the closet about this, ok the kitchen cabinet/closet. And now I am out about it. I feel so refreshed and new and... Yes very very hungry. LOL

Today's Challenge: Share your food with Jimmy. LOL, psst, his favorite is homemade chocolate chip cookies. LOL, make sure there's enough, he can eat a lot all by himself in one sitting.

It’s always nice to have a laugh together…

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 19

BEADS OF JOY 3-14-12 “The Habit of Sin Blinds Us”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 19
My Friends,

It is indeed so difficult for us to conquer such a habit. Of all the habits mankind has encountered, (habits: smoking, eating, nail biting, chocolate…) but "sin" in and of itself because it covers so many parts of who we are, it is impossible to completely avoid this habit. We are unfortunately infected by something called concupiscence. I have spoken of this before in other blogs. Concupiscence is kind of like that person you stop and ask directions from, you listen, think all is good and you proceed forward, and before you know you are going completely in the wrong direction. Life is like that, we are always looking for the "right" direction to be moving, and unfortunately because the father of sin (satan); he is deceitful and misleading and never rests or sleeps; he presents the wrong direction in a nice friendly way. That misrepresentation along with the blindness we attain from our sin, we find ourselves falling back into sin time and time again.

We all experience those one or two sins we just seem to never be able to get away from. You know what I am talking about, that one sin that if you can only stop it, you would never do it again and you'd be even more faithful in all things. I think we have all been there. We find ourselves just like this, "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good." Romans 7:14-16, Ah see, we are not the only ones struggling with trying to defeat that which we hate to do. We must not give up in this struggle of defeating the habit, the stakes are too high. We must try to break that bond our enemy (satan) has entangled into our lives and do our best to rid our lives of such vices. St. Bernardine of Sienna once said, "Entangled by a habit, they are bound by the enemy; and though flying, they are cast down into the same vices."

These undesirable habits become a part of our nature to some degree at times. We really need to keep watch over the very habits we have developed. Sometimes anger pushes into a certain sin, or certain kinds of movies or the way we see others dressed. Not everyone is strong is there testimony and focus on Jesus. And our lack of attentiveness of these bad habits only hinder us and drag us back into them, most of the time unknowingly, but unfortunately often times willingly. I hear many talks about this through the years. And it's been pointed out that everyone to some degree deals with this. Our weakness could be anger, or judging others, or pride, or lust, or selfishness. That's a mere speck of what many of us deal with. And we do know that just because we don't advertise our sin on cable or the internet God is well aware of our heart. "He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." Luke 16:15, now that's a thought.

Let's not wallow in our sin and think oh pity on me. Instead let's do all we can to conquer these habits. I agree that sometimes even that is impossible, but how about looking at it this way; let's do all we can to lessen them and stop them dead in their tracks as much as we possibly can. That can be the new habit of defeating the one habit of sin that has venom that goes directly to our soul. Our best defense is going to be a good offense, and that offense is frequent confession. I will continue to speak frequently of this throughout Lent. This is the perfect time to get our hearts and soul clean before God. God knows we want to, let's use this time to show our sincerity and go to confession as often as time will allow. Think of it as a car wash for your soul.

Today's Challenge: Keep a log, of your habits. Every time you feel yourself going down that road of sin, write down what happened just before that. Was it an argument, was it anger, or was it someone? You'll be creative, then you will know when and how to stop or avoid certain sins. I'm praying for all of you.

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lenten Season – Day 18

BEADS OF JOY 3-13-12 “Never Fear Death In This Life”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 18
My Friends,

What is death? It is the burying of the mortal body into the ground and a releasing of the immortal soul into eternal life. No one can escape the claws of death; all of us will one day experience it. So knowing that we should be able to conquer the fear we may have of this, dying is a natural part of living. Yes it is sad, it can be horrible depending on how we might die, but instantaneously upon the moment it occurs, our lives are forever eternally changed. This is the one time we can and will be completely be separated from this world. But with that knowledge we have such wisdom to gain. That tells us that what happens here is temporal, and what happens here will greatly affect where we will go for all eternity. Some may ask, "Do you have a death wish? talking so boldly about death like it's nothing." The only wish I have is that at my death that I get to be with Jesus in Heaven for all eternity. For what other purpose of preparation do we have while we are here? We have an infinite amount of interactions in our lives, all of which can and could directly affect our eternal outcome.

Now do want to take a chance and risk all eternity for the pleasures of this world? That was a rhetorical question. I would hope that knowing the high stakes that are on the table that one wouldn't want to risk losing it all. "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants." Hebrews 2:14-16. We are all Abraham's descendants. The power of death is gone, it no longer hangs over us keeping us a prisoner unto it. Look at what St. Lawrence Justinian said, "All must come to an end; and if when you die your soul is lost, all is lost for you 'Consider thyself as already dead,' knowing that thou must necessarily die' If you were already dead, what would you not desire to have done? now that you are alive, reflect that one day you must die." Wow, that was powerful; it's the knowledge that is the key to our lack of fearing death. And in this life with God's grace we have that knowledge.

Jesus paid the ultimate price for us, His love for us and our sins placed Him on a cross; a cross that would kill His earthly body for only three days. His death defeated all the horror that was waiting for us upon on our death. He took down the walls of death and transformed those walls into the path of eternity with Him in Heaven. By embracing death and understanding its true meaning, we can be like Jesus, and have no fear of what the world can do to us, because in the end we will be with Him. No one in this life has the power to take us from Him, unless we allow it. The people and things of this world only have the power to eternally destroy us, if we so chose to give them that power. When death comes to us, all is over, everything we were doing and planning ends. Our hearts and minds and souls need to be clean and pure before God. We have been blessed with a most special sacrament, a sacrament that we should embrace, for it is through confession that we are made clean before God, a cleansing we need in order to enter Heaven.

Lent is a special time of preparation for us, as we prepare for the Easter. Let's use this time to cleanse our souls, and get our lives in order and prepare for Jesus. I have found there is a really straight to the point way to fully understand death and with God's wisdom and love, you to can see what I am talking about. Have you ever been in a cemetery before? I would suppose for pretty much for everybody that's a yes. Well, that's the one place where you can't deny the ultimate effects of death; it is there that you see names of family members and friends written on stone tablets. It is there that I feel I can really talk to God sometimes. I know He's there ministering to His children. It is there that I realize that in this life what really matters. Is it the cars, the houses, the money, the lust, the pleasures. No, No, No, No, No.. It's the relationships that are solidified there. I remember my grandma's, my aunts and uncles, dear Friends I grew up with, a old neighbor I adopted as an uncle. It is there, that, what I do now, will end; and that I to will be here one day.

Today's Challenge: Reality Check. Go to the cemetery visit family and friends, pray for them while you are there, ask God to embrace them. Talk to them telling them how much you love them and you miss them. The sorrow and love you find in a cemetery hold much wisdom. Allow God to open your heart and understanding in your preparation for when it is your time. Death is a gateway, not a box.

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 17

BEADS OF JOY 3-12-12 “Take Up Your Cross Today”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 17
My Friends,

Following Jesus was never meant to be an admirable way of life, at least the way the world would view it. We must remember as we follow Jesus, our choices and constant pursuit to continue following Him must never be influenced by anything or anyone in this world. We must not hesitate, but rather we need to immediately follow Him. "At once they left their nets and followed him." Matthew 4:20, "and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." Matthew 4:22, God without hesitation sacrificed His one and only begotten Son to die upon a cross to save us; we must in turn without hesitation pickup our cross and follow Him. The cross we bare maybe heavy, it maybe be hurtful, it may be beyond what we think we deserve in this life. I agree with those sentiments, but at the same time I will be the first to say; no matter how bad or painful it may appear, it pales in comparison as to being nailed upon a cross by everyone who hates you, to watch you die. We need to offer up this pain, for God will not leave us alone with these burdens. Jesus tells us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.

On your calendar today, circle the date, mark it with a cross. Offer everything you endure, all the pain that tears up your insides, up to Jesus. I know how hard this is, it's not that simple to do, but I will offer you the hope that it is possible. When you stay focused on Jesus and you know and trust His word and believe in Him, nothing will stop the faith you have inside. My life is not at all perfect and easy, oh how that would be wonderful. No, it’s far from that. Our life is entangled with challenges and attacked without rest in this world. I am far from anything that would even remotely resemble a saint; but in my quest for and desire to follow Jesus alone in this life, my life has become something satan desires to destroy. In the past many times I have compared my life to the life of Job. But thank God for such wonderful Godly priests in my life, both Fr. Gerald Mullally and Fr. Peter Calabrese both at two different times and in two different places both pointed out, that I should be thankful that my life has been nothing at all like Job's. But many of you can relate to that and many of you may have even thought that also.

Know that you are not alone my dear sisters and brothers. Many of us suffer with pain caused by those who love us and those who hate us. Become bold in your faith, you need not be arrogant, just be BOLD, stand strong behind the truth. Our true desire for God comes from the depths of our hearts and the abyss of our soul. He needs to be the only one to fill that place; never back down, or ever consider denying God to protect your own pride. He must literally be the very blood that flows through our veins. Consider this: You have been told to go in a particular direction for a good and healthy Godly life that can and will cause pain and challenges; but you have also been told, do not veer from the path set before you, if you do, eternal death will be your wager. Now on this journey you encounter others offering pleasure, promises and a good pat on the back for agreeing with them; the only thing is that you must go in a direction that takes you far away from the path that avoids death. But this path looks so wonderful, it seems fine, you feel good, and you’re not hurting anybody. It should be ok, right?

Do not be deceived by such a claim. Pain and suffering are not bad when you truly understand your life's focus and purpose in serving a powerful almighty God. God did not come here to save us from pain and suffering, on the contrary it will be through pain and suffering that we will be given the grace to follow Him. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:1-4. Do you see how we can be strong knowing well that we should never fear what this world desires to do to us. Always know, "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." 2 Corinthians 1:5.

Today's Challenge: Be BOLD. Yes Bold. Draw yourself close to Jesus in your prayer life, know His word, feel His love, love Him back, share His love. Defend His name and honor in a loving caring way. And always stay on the path leading to Him. Offer your suffering to Him, to further proclaim your love of Him. Also watch: The Passion of The Christ. See how He suffered for us. Allow yourself to feel His pain, it’s ok to cry, to really cry for Him. How can we not, we love Him so much.

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