May 21, 2022

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For you this week:

  • Reflection for Saturday: How to speak like Christ in today’s cancel culture
  • Inside the Ministry: “Terry’s Corner” is launched!
  • This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: What is God saying in evil times?
  • Footsteps to Heaven podcast: 7 phases in the battle for union with Christ

This week’s Trivia Challenge: Which chapter of Hebrews lists the great Old Testament heroes of faith? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)


Saturday May 21, 2022

ScripturesActs 16:1-10
Psalm 100:1-3, 5
John 15:18-21
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/052122.cfm
Podcast:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2022-05-21

Saints Calendar:
gnm.org/saints-find/saints-calendar

Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)


Reflection for Saturday:
How to speak like Christ in today’s cancel culture

man masked and cancelledIn Saturday’s Gospel reading, Jesus did not intend to scare us off when he said, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” He gave us his Holy Spirit to embolden us and to strengthen us to withstand persecutions. He wants to raise us up from being victims to being victors.

In most of the cultures where our readers live, our anti-Christian societies have made it popular to cancel or bully into silence anyone who speaks any truth that challenges their worldly ways.

Cancel culture uses confusion, the lack of clear thinking, fear, and anger to shut us up. Their premise is: “Free speech is fine as long as you confine it to your own group. I have the right to demand that you don’t say (or post on social media) what I don’t want to hear.”

It’s time we stop being intimidated by this nonsense. While it’s unproductive to try to convince anyone to change their minds (Jesus said, “Don’t cast your pearls before swine,” in Matthew 7:6), we do need to be warriors for the Kingdom of God. Not wimps.

Imitating Christ, we learn how to do be holy warriors.

Rather than argue, we can calmly respond to the cancellation mentality with, “Freedom of speech means that you have the right to not listen to what I say, the right to not read what I post. If you don’t like what I say, ignore it.” And then we ignore their rebellious retorts. Don’t get sucked into a debate.

When people are not living by faith, or when they think they have faith but they worship a god of their own design, they usually cannot face being wrong. It feels like took big a risk, and so a self-defensive emotional outrage is triggered. They’ve become so deluded by the devil’s lies that they get angry (they feel the devil’s anger) toward us.

The good news is: They are what scripture calls “chaff”. They look big and brutal but “they are like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears, like chaff swirling from a threshing floor…” (Hosea 13:3).

When we can see them this way — as they really are — it inoculates us from their intimidation tactics. We can stand up strong in the courage that comes from the Holy Spirit.

This is the kind of followers Christ needs now.

“They say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways. Who is this so-called Almighty God that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?’ But their prosperity is not in their own hands, so I stand aloof from their plans. Have you noticed … how often they are like straw before the wind, like chaff swept away by a gale?” (Job 21:14-18.)

And here’s what my favorite scripture (Psalm 1 NIV) says about it:

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away….

As we approach Pentecost Sunday, remember how necessary it is to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is how we become empowered and emboldened to know and live and speak the truth.

Pray:
Come Holy Spirit, set me on fire! Come Holy Spirit, renew me. Come Holy Spirit, fill me. Come Holy Spirit, I want to be fully alive in a personal relationship with You. Come Holy Spirit, You have my permission to change me. Help me to be effective in the mission of Christ rescuing sinners from the unquenchable fire of Hell. Amen!


Inside the Ministry: “Terry’s Corner” is launched!

This is something that’s been on my heart to do for a long time. My intentions were to start offering monthly or bi-monthly Zoom meetings after the website upgrades were completed and after Ralph was recovering nicely from heart surgery. But delays in his surgery and his need for a different, preliminary surgery has greatly slowed down the webwork. Uncertain about the timing of Ralph’s heart surgery, I discerned that we should just get going with the live meetings. If his surgery causes scheduled meetings to get postponed, so be it.

Initially, we’re experimenting in search of the best time to hold these gatherings. I chose 2pm Eastern US Time for the first meeting simply because it’s right after I get back from Mass. I’ll be all prayed-up to serve those who come to the meeting. But this is not ideal for most people. Please — if you’re interested in attending “Terry’s Corner” — fill out the green form at the bottom of gnm.org/event-topics/online-events. Your feedback will help me plan future events.

Terry's Corner: Live Zoom Get-togethers

First topic for Terry’s Corner:
Encouragement for parents of wayward adult children

This gathering is for all who are suffering from the rejection of loved ones who have left the Faith. We will pray together for the salvation of their souls. We will learn from each other’s testimonies. We will heal as we experience God caring for us.

May 25th @ 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Convert this to your time zone on the registration page. Start at gnm.org/event-topics/online-events.


WordBytes

This week’s recommended faith-builder:
What is God saying in evil times?

All around the world throughout the 20th century and on into the current time, the Blessed Mother has been showing up in apparitions to warn and to cajole and to plead with sinners to repent. All around the world, saints and mystics have prophesied what would happen if sin became as widely accepted as it now is. And now, all around the world, the Holy Spirit is anointing many ordinary, faith-filled Christians to warn us and to prepare us for the inevitable results of the world’s unbridled sinfulness.

Holy water is very powerful in helping us stay safe from demonic interference. Demons flee from holy water.

Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) knew this. He said, “Holy water has a special power to defend us against all attacks of the devil.” And there is an additional benefit: “When we make the sign of the cross with holy water, we gain each time an indulgence of one hundred days.”

Did you know that?

For more on this, visit wordbytes.org/victory/what-is-god-saying-in-evil-times.

WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.


Footsteps to Heaven podcast

7 phases in the battle for union with Christ

The daily hardships we experience are affected by Satan and the prayers that we do and our connection to Christ. How much are your hardships demonically influenced? Some hardships are simply because we live in an imperfect world, but how do you know when you should take action against demons? In this episode, As a follow-up to the 4-second prayer that defeats Satan (gnm.org/footsteps12), I explain in this episode how to interpret your hardships in light of the 7 phases in the battle for union with Christ — 7 phases of spiritual growth that lead to a life of joy in the Lord during hardships through union with Christ.

Listen to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps13.

You can download the transcript from our Media Center @ https://gnm-media.org/7-phases-in-the-battle-for-union-with-christ/

Sign up for early access to podcasts. New episodes of the podcast show Footsteps to Heaven are published before this newsletter goes out. You can be notified as soon as new ones are published! Subscribe at gnm-media.org for the podcast videos or at footstepstoheaven.com for the audio-only version.


Trivia QuestionAnswer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
Which chapter of Hebrews lists the great Old Testament heroes of faith? Answer: Chapter 11.


God bless you!

Every morning, I lift up in prayer everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site. What can I cover in prayer for you? Post your prayer request.

How else can the team and I serve you today? Visit our homepage.


Let’s connect in GNM’s own SmartCatholics community, called Good News Faith Builders. I’m available to interact with you there.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Terry ModicaYour servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
gnm.org

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