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Called to prayer

The son with good intentions gave a hearty “Yes, sir” to his father, but never went into the vineyard to work. This son will end up in a sorry situation if he does not convert. The other son who did not want to go into the vineyard had a conversion and decided to work in the vineyard. He changed his mind and, out of true love for the heavenly Father, and his own father, he died to his selfishness and did as the Father commanded, thus finding fulfilment.

How do we open ourselves up to a conversion experience? How do we allow God the Father to change our minds to work in his vineyard to attain a virtuous life and eternal happiness? It is at once simple and difficult. We must ask for the grace of a deeper conversion and then persevere in the good work God calls us to do.

When a good friend of mine asks me to do something good for him or her, I do it because it is a sign of my love for them. But when God asks me to do something good for him and for Holy Mother Church, sometimes it is difficult. Why is that? It is be-cause sometimes I do not have enough faith, hope and love. Thus, I need to ask God for the grace of a deeper conversion.

The simple part is to listen to God who says, be baptized; be confirmed; receive the Holy Eucharist in the state of grace for this is the new and eternal covenant. These basic instructions are easy, and we tend to abide by them because we usually be-gin these good faith acts as children who have much trust in God and our parents.

However, Jesus also commanded us to confess our sins with sorrow, amend our life and do penance to make reparation for the damage our sins, and the sins of others, have caused. This is the difficult part.

My friends in faith, we know that the world is very confused, volatile and violent because it has turned away from God in many evil ways. But many Catholics are saying “No” to the world of sin, and destruction, and “Yes,” to working in God’s vineyard to bring about God’s much needed mercy, truth, justice, love and peace.

As your spiritual father in Jesus Christ, I want to inform you of the advantageous opportunities of Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Confession on this First Friday of the month, Oct. 6, from 7–8PM at Holy Trinity, after which we will cele-brate the Holy Mass in reparation for the sins against the Sa-cred Heart of Jesus.

There will also be an opportunity for Adoration and Confession on First Saturday of the month, Oct. 7, 8:00-9:00AM at St. Columbkill with Mass afterward offered in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Saturday is the feast in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. By celebrating one or both of these spiritual opportunities you are saying “Yes” to working in the vineyard of the Lord where the grace of salvation flourishes, despite the confusion and evil in the world.

October is Respect Life Month, and the Month of the Rosary. We know, however, that the Devil and his minions hate human life and God’s holy order, and they will do everything they can to attack good people, attack our country, and attack the truth of God upon which our country and Church are established.

Many Catholic organizations are calling on Catholics to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary to ask Jesus Christ to intervene to overcome the mounting evil, much like what happened on Oct. 7, 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto.

At the Battle of Lepanto, in the Gulf of Patras near Greece, the Turkish Muslim navy was resolved to conquer Christian Europe. They had more ships and warriors, but we had the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the cabin of the commander’s ship. The Turks were determined to wipe out the Catholic Christian faith, but the contemporary Pope, Pius V, had asked all Catholics to pray the Rosary during October.

As the story goes, when the leader of the Christian navy, Don Juan of Austria, saw that they were outnumbered, he went into his cabin and prostrated himself upon the floor in front of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He begged her to intercede for them.

As the battle began, a great wind fell upon the Turkish fleet and scattered them. The fewer Christian war ships of the Holy League were able to win the day and captured many enemy ships that were powered by thousands of slaves, most of whom were Christians. It is estimated that 25,000 Christians were freed on that day alone, and soon after that there were many other victories. The Battle of Lepanto on Oct. 7, 1571, was a turning point.

Many people will pray the Rosary this October 7, in commemoration of this event, of which the Church has declared a Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary. Many others have been praying the 54 day Novena for our nation to end abortion and bring healing to those affected by it, and that novena ends on Oct. 7. Many others began the 40 Days for Life campaign Wed., Sept. 27, which ends on Sun., Nov. 5. You can participate by offering up prayers and sacrifices any time to cleanse our hearts and our country from evil and free those enslaved to mortal sin by accepting God’s saving grace, most assuredly in Christ’s sacraments.

On Mon., Oct. 9, our nation will celebrate Columbus Day. Although many statues of Christopher Columbus were torn down in recent years, we will honor him and his heroic discovery of the Americas (for Europeans) and his desire to bring Christianity to the Native Americans. Some historians fail to report that Christopher Columbus had strict guidelines for his crew to not take advantage of the native Americans, and he hung several of his crew members for the crimes committed against the native Indi-ans. And although we believe the death penalty is the last re-sort, if ever needed in modern times, Christopher Columbus had no prison system in which to incarcerate those criminals. Also, when requested, Columbus protected the friendly native tribes from those tribes that were aggressive cannibals.

Finally, on Fri., Oct.13, many of us will pray the Rosary in commemoration of the Miracle of the Sun, 7:00PM at Holy Trinity, with Mass at 7:30PM and the Fatima Movie after-ward. This miracle occurred at Fatima, Portugal, on Oct. 13, 1917, after the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared many times, beginning on May 13, 1917, to three shepherd children: Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos. When the promised miracle occurred over 70,000 people saw the sun dance in the sky, shooting off all kinds of colors, and then appeared to be crashing toward the earth.

Many people fell on their knees and made a perfect act of contrition, others tried to run and hide, but then the sun returned to its normal place in the sky. Many miracles of healing and con-version occurred at that moment of which the Blessed Virgin Mary had promised to the three shepherd children, two of whom are now saints: St Jacinta and St. Francisco, who were canonized by Pope Francis May 13, 2017, in Fatima, Portugal.

Today, many priests will have preached about the parable of the two sons who were asked to work in the vineyard. One son had the intention to follow his father’s will, but never did. Whereas the other son, although slow in loving his father, had a conversion and went into the vineyard and worked. He was the one who grew in love and responded to the call to serve. He will live a life of virtue and happiness – forever in heaven through the Lord’s saving grace.

Peace in Christ, Fr. Thomas McCabe


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