Thursday, July 1, 2021



Sanford F. Bennet

There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.

To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021



Blessed Augustus Tolton

Augustus Tolton (April 1, 1854 – July 9, 1897), baptized Augustine Tolton, was the first Roman Catholic priest in the United States publicly known to be black when he was ordained in 1886.

A former slave who was baptized and reared Catholic, Tolton studied formally in Rome. He was ordained there on Easter Sunday of 1886 at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.

Assigned to the Diocese of Alton (now the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois), Tolton first ministered to his home parish in Quincy, Illinois. Later assigned to Chicago, Tolton led the development and construction of St. Monica's Catholic Church as a black "national parish church," completed in 1893 at 36th and Dearborn Streets on Chicago South Side.

He was declared Venerable by Pope Francis in June 2019. He is on his way to sainthood.

Sunday, June 27, 2021


                            Daughter, your faith has saved you.                                Mark 5:21-43 

When I was young, I tended to accumulate, but as I have gotten older I have tended more and more to get rid of stuff. I especially use the week after Christmas to rid my house of seldom used clothes, books and gadgets that no longer work. As I have probably mentioned before, there are a few old books on my shelf that I cannot get rid of, no matter what! They were the sources of great breakthroughs in understanding. Such is the case of a book by Fr. Louis Evely that has some great insights on faith healing.

Father Evely makes the case that the phenomenon known as a “healing miracle” is simply an abnormal acceleration of natural healing processes that are triggered by faith. A so-called  "healing miracle” he says, does not occur from the outside in, but from the inside out. He refers to the fact that Jesus quite often did not tell those he cured, “My power has cured you.” Instead, he said, “Your faith has cured you.”  

Today we read the story of the cure of a woman with great faith, but in the next chapter of this same gospel, Mark reports that Jesus “could work no miracle there because of people’s lack of faith.”  Still later Mark says that people were begging to brought to the marketplaces so that they might touch the tassel of his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed. It is important to remember that it was not a holy tassel that caused the woman’s cure in the gospel today, it was her faith that triggered her cure! Her faith triggered an acceleration of natural healing processes. 

What about the miracles that have been recorded at places like Lourdes? Well, there have been miracles at every shrine of every religion, and most of these have been miracles of healing. Father Evely notes that the sole characteristic of a miraculous cure is the extraordinary acceleration of the natural healing process. He says that the medical situation which cannot be healed by a natural process is not susceptible to a miraculous cure; an amputated leg or am, for example, has never been re-grown miraculously – not even a finger. So, it seems that such an acceleration of the natural processes of healing can be triggered by faith. The source of power is not in the sacred stone, the holy relic, the water from a mysterious water source or even the tassel of a Jesus’ cloak, but the intensity of faith of those who believe that triggers their own extraordinarily rapid healing processes. 

I believe in the possibility of faith healing. I have seen it happen. When I was in the Home Missions, I anointed an old German man who had a deep, but simple faith. He had an ulcer on his hand that had not healed for years. He wanted it to be anointed, believing that God could heal it for him. I accommodated him without much hope, but guess what? He came back a few weeks later and, sure enough, his ulcer was gone!

When my mother was dying of cancer, we gathered in the living room for a celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick. We anointed her, with prayers that she would be healed. She was not healed physically, but she certainly was healed spiritually and emotionally. After that anointing, she was still open to a “miracle,” but she also began to accept her condition with an amazing peace and calm if that was not to happen.    

Even doctors will tell you that people have mysteriously gotten well when they are able to believe that getting well is possible, while they have mysteriously lost patients who gave up on their treatment.

The Church has anointed the sick since the very beginning, but it has gone through a great transformation in my lifetime. The gospel of Mark, the oldest written gospel, records these words: “They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures” (Mark 6:13). These original disciples passed this practice on to their followers. We read about it in the Epistle of James: “Is there anyone sick among you? He should ask for the presbyters (priests) of the church. They in turn are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name (of the Lord). This prayer uttered in faith will reclaim the one who is ill, and the Lord will restore him to health” (James 5:14-15). 

The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick began its demise in the twelfth century when it started being called Extreme Unction or the Last Rites. It began its comeback in 1974 when we began to call it again by its correct name, Anointing of the Sick. For the past eight hundred years, it was given almost exclusively to those whose death was imminent. The person receiving it was often unconscious. (Let me stop here to insert an admonition. For God’s sake don’t wait till someone is minutes away from death and then try to find a priest, unless there is a serious accident! Worse still, don’t wait till they are dead and then call a priest for this Sacrament! Call the priest when they are still conscious if possible! Call at the beginning of their serious illness or before major surgery! Call it by its real name, the Anointing of the Sick, not the Last Rites!)

There is no question about it: Jesus was a faith healer. He could certainly elicit faith from people. The gospels are filled with stories of cures he brought about. There is no question either that Jesus gave his disciples a share in this power and told them to use it. As I cited earlier, Mark’s gospel records these words: “They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures” (Mark 6:13).

Down through the ages, people of every culture have believed, almost instinctively, that somewhere there resides a healing power that can be activated under certain conditions and that the alleviation of human suffering will follow. The power to evoke this healing is usually attributed to holy men and women, who evoke it directly from God through various ceremonies, such as the laying on of hands, anointings, prayers, or the touching of relics and images. Even modern science has admitted that these healers have often obtained dramatic results where medical skill has failed.

How does healing work? How do these healers effect their cures? In a nutshell, their cures are due to the belief of the sick person that releases the healing power already resident in the subconscious mind. The belief of the sick person, encouraged by the “healer,” triggers an abnormal acceleration of a natural, God-given, healing power we all carry within us. The healer elicits belief from the sick person. That belief triggers healing power. Health is the result. This healing power was given to us when God created us. In that sense, God is the source of all healing.

In the New Testament, we read about Jesus the healer. He used touch, spit, water, and words, but he always insisted upon faith. “Because of your faith it shall be done to you,” he told the sick (Matthew 9:29). Jesus evoked faith inside the sick. That faith triggered healing. Health was the result. Jesus, the person cured, and the people all around gave God the praise.

The process of all healing is a definite, positive mental attitude, an inner attitude or way of thinking, called faith. If you have this faith, you can get results. The problem is getting past the skeptical conscious mind and into the subconscious mind, where all healing takes place. The subconscious mind is very impressionable to the power of suggestion, but the conscious mind is constantly sabotaging the process with negative messages of “it can’t happen.” Faith is an intense, positive, “can happen” suggestion to this impressionable part of our brain where all healing takes place. It is this part of the brain that knows what to do to repair or heal a cut without the conscious mind’s even having to be aware of it.

If you have a physical ailment and you can muster the faith, the Sacrament of Anointing is for you. Your faith and our prayers, the blessed oil, and the laying on of hands can bring about physical healing. If you are carrying around an old grudge that is making you sick and keeping you from enjoying life, anointing is for you, but you must believe that you can let go of that grudge completely. Your belief and our prayers, the blessed oil, and the laying on of hands can bring about spiritual healing. If you feel spiritually sick, without a personal, loving contact with God, anointing is for you. But you must want a new relationship with God and believe that you can have one. Your faith in having such a relationship, our prayers, the blessed oil, and the laying on of hands can bring about a melting of all the resistance you have carried to such a relationship.

Faith is more powerful than you know! It can trigger healing of the body, mind and spirit! We often say, "I will believe it when I see it!" Actually, the truth is the other way around. "Believe it and then you will see it!