The Huddle

09-19-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

In football they have a "huddle."

The goal of the huddle is to give you thirty seconds to call the play, that is why they give you a huddle.

At a professional football game there may be sixty thousand people watching you huddle, they don’t mind you taking thirty seconds to call the play.

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Life is Risky

09-12-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

A man named Peter inherited a huge land grant, but the will provided that he could choose land in either Chile or Brazil. He chose Brazil. Unhappily, if he had chosen Chile, he would have received his inheritance in land on which they had recently discovered uranium, gold and silver. But he chose Brazil.

When he arrived in Brazil he had to choose between receiving his inheritance in a coffee plantation or land with Brazil nut trees. He chose the nut trees, and immediately the bottom fell out of the nut market, but coffee futures went up two dollars a pound. The government took control of the nut farm for back taxes, and Peter was left destitute.

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Prayer

09-05-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth century Roman Catholic writer said this about prayer:

Tell God all that is on your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability.

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Give to Someone Who Can't Give Back

08-29-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

A pastor friend wrote to me about an article in a campus publication where a young nurse writes of her pilgrimage of learning to see in a patient the image of God beneath a very “distressing disguise. ”

Eileen was one of her first patients, a person who was totally helpless. “A cerebral aneurysm (broken blood vessels in the brain) had left her with no conscious control over her body,” the nurse writes. As near as the doctors could tell Eileen was totally unconscious, unable to feel pain and unaware of anything going on around her.

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Pruning is Needed

08-22-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Every branch that bears fruit must be pruned to bear much more fruit. A friend of mine has a fruit tree that has been living for a number of years. Every winter the cold weather and heavy breeze kills more than half of the branches and leaves. If he does not prune the dead, it will spread and kill the whole tree. Therefore, he must prune what is wilted to save the rest of the tree. In turn, the tree grows bigger, stronger, and bears more fruit than before. The fruit doesn’t only multiply, but they are much more pleasing in their flavor.

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Giving in to Temptation

08-15-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Think how many temptations we might face in an ordinary day.

Growling at the breakfast table - the temptation to unkindness.

Arguing over who should change the baby this time - the temptation to selfishness.

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How Much?

08-08-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

At the close of life, the question will not be,

"How much have you gotten?" but "How much have you given?"

Not "How much have you won?" but "How much have you done?"

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Blame

08-01-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

All blame is a waste of time.

No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame another, it will not change you.

The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration.

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