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castleofsaints by Fr. Sunny Castillo ® 361 N Saint Joseph Avenue, Kankakee, IL 60901
"I would like to thank those who encouraged me to unify all my online activities in one website. I never mean this to be anything but an avenue for ministry, to make myself available to others. These are not mine to begin with, and so I feel the need to share them to others - these thoughts, ideas, creative things, for whatever they're worth, may you find them somewhat helpful. God bless you."
Online resource for Liturgy of the Hours and reflections
PRAYER FOR MERCY
Heavenly Father, you look at us your children in their time of great distress, with mercy and compassion, desiring that we may find You as the light in the midst of our darkness.
Be merciful, O Lord, as you are Mercy itself, to your people lost in sin and isolation. Look upon me, in my weakness and ignorance, and see deep within my heart that I desire You and only You, my one true happiness and peace.
Increase the longing in my soul for a profound sense of the Good and the Beautiful, and manifest to me your untiring love, that I may be moved to the core of my being to respond to You with fervor and devotion.
Be merciful, O Lord, for I am unworthy of Your love. Help me to never let go, as You never let go of me in your divine grace. Amen.
GOD IS GOOD
For out of His love for us, He creates
the universe by the sheer power of
Word. He desires this loving
relationship with his creation, but especially with every human life, endowed with the ability to love Him back. It is because of this that your
life and mine and all sacred, that all human life is precious in His eyes.
By the same loving initiatiave, God
visits our human condition by dying
for us on the cross - the stupendous mystery of God's desire to heal us
and keep us in his Divine Sustenance,
in Jesus Christ.
What marvelous love indeed! The questions is: how do we respond to
such divine love?
(Fr. Sunny Castillo)
A blessed advent season to all of us!
We begin again a new liturgical year as we set the story of salvation back to the holy season of waiting, the time of great anticipation for the coming of Christmas, to celebrate the Birth of the Savior. This special time is an opportunity that can be easily ignored or overlooked. That is why some gentle reminders and suggestions on how to observe the Advent Season may be on point for this bulletin article. Allow me to rapid fire toward your direction, my dear friends and family, these quick ideas:
1. Observe moments of silence. Silence is inward disposition, and can be observed even when the surroundings may be busy. Observe silence while driving, or even when
2.Have a good confession. Since this is a spiritual time to prepare for the coming of Jesus, take to heart the message of conversion and penance that is emphasized in this season. Have a really good and sincere confession, and make a genuine promise to be a better person.
3.Ritualize the season. This can be done by sharing some advent prayers and lighting your own personal advent wreath. Perhaps this can also be done as a family, lighting the wreath before dinner, and praying together for healing, mercy and blessings.
4.Do some extra Bible Reading. That’s presuming you are actually doing some reading at all. If not, begin reading it religiously, focusing on the Advents stories in the Gospels. There are some excellent Bible stories that pertain to the Advent Season, and they help provide spiritual insights to focus on, when the season starts getting busy.
5.Do acts of charity. Advent Season is a time of increased generosity, as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. Be intentional about supporting a worthy mission, or a cause dear to your heart.
6.Reconnect with long lost friends. Perhaps you have not talked to a friend for a while. Drop by a greeting, call their phone or send a personalized text message. Let them know that they are not forgotten.
7.Plan out Christmas events well. Preparing for Christmas can ruin your advent. Do your Christmas shopping early enough and use it as a time to be with family and friends. You then do your Christmas chore and spend quality time with your loved ones.
8.Go to holy mass more. If you are able, include coming to daily masses. Daily reception of the Eucharist adds a special grace to the observance of this season.
9.Give up something for sacrifice. Mostly, we do this during the Lenten season, but it is also good to do this during the four weeks of Advent. Maybe even just making a clear decision to simplify your lifestyle during the next four weeks of Advent is an excellent idea for a spiritual observance of this beautiful season.
10.Pray for the dearly departed. If Advent is the time of waiting, and we are waiting to be reunited with our beloved departed at the end of time, it is then especially appropriate to remember our beloved dead during this season.
I hope these ten ideas give you a good jumping off point into the spirit of the Advent Season. As we wait for the coming of the Lord, may these help us to be properly disposed to celebrate the landmark of our salvation. Have a blessed Advent Season, dear friends!
PILGRIMAGES IN 2018
Fr. Sunny is looking forward to another year of pilgrimages. This year, he will go back to his two favorite pilgrimage destinations: