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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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Feel free to submit a new question or concern in the comment box below.  Various topics and questions are archived here for easy retrieval.  Please be courteous.  God bless you!

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2,666 Responses

  1. This happens to me too I was diagnosed with paradomnia by a psychiatrist which means i am awake during my nightmares in rapid eye movement sleep there is medication i take which helps however I had already done all of the things Father has suggested and i do believe in demons i just think Psychiatry can be helpful as well in some cases. it certainly doesn’t mean i think your daughter is crazy i definitely believe her.

    FATHER JOE: Psychology is very helpful, I agree. Such matters also need to be explored.

  2. Hello Father,
    Thank you for providing this venue. I beg your pardon if you’ve provided insight to this situation before. I looked and couldn’t find a previous answer. My daughter has complained of seeing things, “paranormal” in nature, for several years. Many times, it keeps her from going to certain parts of our home by herself. She has described what she sees and I find it terrifying as an adult. Many nights, it interferes with her going to sleep. When she does sleep, sometimes these “demons” (for lack of a better word, maybe) permeate her dreams and awaken her. It has occurred since she was three or four and is still happening at nine years of age.
    I am very confident that she is not doing this for attention and that she is not doing it simply for attention’s sake. Her reactions are real and they are intense. My belief in her is reinforced further, as I have seen and experienced things since my father passed ten years ago; that I simply did not believe in prior to his passing.
    We have not “invited” entities in by practicing the occult or any games that dabble in that arena. We have only practiced Catholicism. My daughter is soft-hearted, soft-spoken, unconditionally loving, and she is pure good (I know most parents would say that about their children, to some extent, but my sincerity in saying this is paramount to who she is and the overall story.)
    Fortunately, she is not visited only by bad “spirits”, but she has described my father in great detail (who died a couple of years before she was born and whom we have no pictures of in my home) and she says she has also been visited by other deceased loved ones. These are great experiences for her and they suggest that they are helping to protect her, but they cannot help her forget the absolute bad that she sees.
    I have attempted to seek counsel, several times, with our parish priest over the last few years, but I have not had any success in doing so. Unfortunately, these experiences seem to be getting somewhat worse and I feel like I’m running out of options. I feel like I am utterly failing her and that this situation might be rectified if I only knew what to do and where to turn.
    My question is what options do I have left? If I can’t obtain help from my priest, what should I do? Anything I’ve researched seems to be ambiguous, so maybe you can help understand what the Church’s official stance is on this subject. If there is nothing I can do from a Church perspective, then what would you do simply as a human being, seeing your sweet child tormented by things you cannot possibly comprehend? I’m really at my wit’s end and I feel so badly for her. She has learned to cope, to some extent, but she deserves to thrive, and I believe this is holding her back.
    Thank you so much for your help!

    FATHER JOE:

    I am curious about the reaction or the purported lack of response from your priest. Is there another one you can consult close to where you live?

    I would suggest the following:

    Given that you are married in the Church, I would recommend having a priest come to your house to bless your home and consecrate your family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    Further, I would place sacramentals, like crucifixes, holy pictures, devotional statues, holy water fonts, etc. throughout the house— especially in the child’s bedroom. You can get holy water from the church, just bring a bottle.

    You can contact the Parish about having Masses for the dead that she purports to be seeing.

    Family members might also be enrolled with the scapular for the Confraternity of Mount Carmel. The miraculous medal might also be worn or pinned to clothes or to the bed spread.

    Were you the first ones to live in your home? If not, do you know anything about those who lived there before you? Is it a detached house or an attached building like a condo or apartment?

    It has been my experience that some people are more sensitive to things unseen. Indeed, the Exorcist in Rome wrote about employing such people to help discern the presence of spiritual entities. If such is the case here, have her nightly invoke St. Michael and her Guardian Angel.

    Peace!

  3. My husband does not go with me to mass or holy days of obligation can he receive the holy communion at Christmas? Or does he have to go to confession first. He is Catholic and we have been married for 26 years.

    FATHER JOE: If your husband only goes to Mass once a year then he should go to Confession prior to receiving Holy Communion. However, will there be a firm purpose of amendment? Absolution requires sorrow for sin. Missing Mass (for no good reason) is a violation of the Church’s precepts and such is regarded as the matter of mortal sin.

  4. Father, is bodybuilding a sin? I do not stare at myself in the mirror nor do I pose on a stage. I do consume a lot of food but that is only to get the most out of this body god has given me. Is it a sin?

    FATHER JOE: No, unless the body is deliberately harmed.

  5. Father: i am Roman Catholic, and forgive me because I’m older, and go on tangents a lot. I was googling winter solstice, next thing i was into was, i forgot the name of the triangle formula, some how related to this one man from i believe the 14th century, who went to study with and became a egyptian priest, i think. Anyway in article, they described a word “esoteric” which i never heard before. Any way i downloaded a pdf the fundamentals of esoteric philosophy. Very detailed, extremely complicated, and obviously beyond my reach. What is it? Good? Evil? Should i erase and forget this? I can see no real purpose or meaning in it for me. Can you give me some guidance. Just curious. Thank you Father. God bless you, and Happy New Year.

    FATHER JOE: It is forbidden occult religion.

  6. is it a sin to wear clothing that is made for another gender. like women wear pants even though they were originally made for men and in the past boys were made to wear dresses. because i wear a few articles of clothing that are made for women but i’m a man. it’s people who say who should wear what. just hoping if you could clear this up for me.

    FATHER JOE: While the Old Testament has some negative things to say about cross-dressing, the issue is more problematic in modern culture (see Deuteronomy 22:5 – “A woman shall not be clothed with man’s apparel, neither shall a man use woman’s apparel: for he that doth these things is abominable before God.”) The question you ask depends somewhat on the accepted styles of clothing and the need for modesty. Barbarians wore pants in the past while most men wore blouse-like tunics. I know the Catholic philosopher Alice von Hildebrand very much opposes women wearing pants, even when designed more for women’s hips. The Scots can wear the traditional kilt and priests can wear the dress-like cassock. But these are traditional forms of male dress similar but not the same as female clothing. Men generally wear pants and women often argue that pants keep them warmer and are better for certain jobs. Women in the military often wear slacks. Personally, I do not see much of an issue for women wearing pants. They look more awkward when wearing men’s suits. I personally do like having male and female servers dressing in the same attire. Rather, I opt to place boys in cassock and surplice and the girls in albs. The cassock tends to be made for the male shape. The question becomes more problematic when men clearly dress like women… dresses, stockings, high heeled shoes, etc. It may be a double-standard, but images of men wearing women’s clothing are found by most men as extremely offensive. Often it is associated in people’s minds with sexual disorientation. Given that it adds to the problem of gender dysphoria, I would suspect that (depending on motivation) it would at least be a venial sin for men. There may be some situations, when associated with disorientation, that it may be mortally serious. However, it may be no sin at all, as in cases of a comic play or mental illness.

  7. My wife has told me that she had mental reservations when we married, and has said she is leaving several times. So, knowing this, is it better to get an annulment now, or to wait until I find someone I would want as a real wife?

    FATHER JOE: Together with her you should do all you can to make the marriage work. Annulments in the US require a civil divorce first. Also, formal annulments are not guaranteed. The grounds you suspect would have to be judged by a Tribunal.

  8. Father, I would appreciate your advice on this matter if you don’t mind.
    I am a girl who neither watches television nor movies. My family watches TV a few hours each night. They do not seem to approve of my decision, as they say it takes time away from family. There is not much interaction during their TV time, so it hardly seems like family time. They say I’m selfish for not watching with them. I understand what they mean, but it hurts not interacting with them. Ever since I discontinued TV, I feel more content and free from commercialism. My parents have Lyme Disease, so they are not often up to playing something as thinking-oriented as a board game. I also become depressed from this long-time routine. Am I selfish? What should be done for the family to interact more often?

    FATHER JOE: It would not hurt to watch television or to see a movie with the family once-in-a-while. Lyme disease can sap strength, but there are plenty of card and board games that do not require much energy, thought or time. Beware of excuses to avoid family interaction. Families can also watch DVDs of inspiring or religious productions. Families can also pray together. Dialogue with them about common things to do and be creative.

  9. Please ask god to give me a job. This much I can expect of him.

    FATHER JOE: I will pray that the Lord help you in a difficult situation. Of course, you have to do your part in trying to find a job. Prayer is not magic. What we can expect from the Lord is mercy and a share in eternal life.

  10. Hello, Father. I have a difficult time telling myself this, but I suspect my fairly new parish priest is attracted to me. About every mass during each time he is listening to the readings, he constantly glances in my direction. One time he did so, a parishioner looked at the priest and then at me, as if he were suspicious. At first I thought Father was adjusting to his new church, but it seems something else is up. I’m a youth, a kid if you will, and I’m quite uncomfortable with these glances. Priests are also people, so they can experience attraction- It’s just a strange situation. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thank you!

    FATHER JOE: It is hard to judge quick glances. It might all be very innocent. Unless the priest says or does something untoward, I would dismiss it. Impressions that parishioners are suspicious are also pretty little to go on. How old are you? Priests are normal men and are attracted to beauty. I do not know what you look like, but if you are exceptionally pretty, you may have to get used to men doing a double-take when they see you. But most priests and good men will remain gentlemen. You may also be particularly attentive. Priests, especially during homilies, will look at those who are looking back. You would not believe all the sleepers and bowed heads we endure.

  11. Hello,
    I do not follow any faith however I believe the Christian teachings to be good. Mostly due to Christianity being the most accessible religion to study. So forgive me if my question is obvious and simple. I haven’t read the book either, it doesn’t seem to be in English. Nevertheless my question to you is about Jesus. He died for all man kinds original sin, right?. Original sin from when eve ate the apple, right?. Ive also heard that Jesus was able to do this (dying for sins thing) because he was able to forgive mankind for everything. Now that’s pretty impressive, forgiving for everyone for everything. Now I’m thinking that I should try to be just as forgiving to follow in his teachings, but I struggle to do so. Recently I had an idea, what if Jesus was able to forgive because he knew it was all God’s fault for all mankind. That’s not a dig on God by the way. That’s saying God is all knowing, all seeing and all powerful, he knows what men are capable of and he has the power to put an end to it, he doesn’t however, he allows mankind freedom of will. So if a man kills another man, God has seen it coming also has the power to stop but won’t because it’s freedom of will, thus anything sinful committed of free will its Gods paradox, he can punish but won’t. Sorry if this makes no sense. I’ve thought a lot about it, I’ve tried talking in person with a holy man but it never works out.
    Best,
    Trash panda

    FATHER JOE:

    It has been argued that without God, would we even know how to be good? Those who distance themselves from Christian formation argue for abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, artificial insemination, fornication, divorce and remarriage, masturbation, homosexual activity, pandering to superstition and false worship, etc. And yet, Catholic Christianity informed by Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium (teaching authority instituted by Christ) would judge all these as moral evils.

    Genesis gives us the story of a fall in the primordial Garden whereby Adam and Eve commit the Original Sin. This sin brought disharmony upon all creation, ushering in suffering, sin and death. We are all born stained by this sin, wounded as we enter a broken world.

    Jesus alone is able to heal the breech between ourselves and the heavenly Father. The dishonor to God was infinite and thus we were unable to make proper reparation for sin. Jesus was able to do so from our side of the equation as a human being. Jesus is also the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The mystery of Christmas is that God in Jesus Christ becomes a man and comes down to earth so that we might be divinized by grace and go up to heaven. Jesus, as a divine Person, has infinite power. We do not. That makes Jesus our unique Mediator, Savior, Lord and Christ. On the Cross, he knew within his divine knowledge, each us and he dies for each of us by name. Now that the price for sin is paid, we must make this redemption our own through faith and baptism. We are washed clean of Original Sin and given sanctifying grace. Sin and death are conquered but the effects will not be undone until the final consummation and Last Judgment.

    The fault is entirely ours. God is all good. He did not want to create robotic slaves, devoid of conscience, love and freedom. He wanted us to freely love and obey him. God’s direct providence cannot intend evil; however, passive divine providence (or will) can permit our misuse of liberty.

    God does not see things coming or see the future. God is existence itself and he is outside of time and space. He sees all history within an eternal now. He sustains his creation from moment to moment.
    We are promised that whatever a broken world or evil men take away from us, he will restore in the world to come. Holiness will be rewarded and sin will be punished. That is why we speak of heaven and hell.

  12. When i die, I know I don’t have a place in heaven. What if I don’t wanna join everyone in hell but instead, can’t I just wander out line and stay on earth?

    FATHER JOE:

    If you are damned and hate God then why should we suffer your roaming spirit among living earthly pilgrims. Hell would be your proper home. Indeed, more than a place, the damned carry hell about with them, everywhere they go. You will be in hell and you will be hell. This world will pass away. It is suggested that a new earth will be assumed into heaven. Truly damned, you would have no place there.

    Why do you think you have no place in heaven. God loves you. Can you find no love in yourself to return?

  13. Father,

    Has God destined all of his chosen to become perfected saints in this life? If a person has a desire to become holy, but is failing miserably again and again, should one find comfort in knowing that God has ultimately predestined only a certain degree of holiness for each individual before death? Or has God chosen all of those called from the world to perfection in this life?(Obviously, this concession to sin would only be without giving in to the temptation to “sin boldly,” so to speak! Or to sin without a desire for grace and change.)

    Thank you, Father.

    FATHER JOE: It may be that certain saints have a greater capacity for grace and holiness. Our Lord gives us the sacraments to help us on our way. We all fall short. None of us can save ourselves. We seek to cooperate with Jesus. There is a universal call to holiness; but this does not mean that everyone will be saved. We are predestined for glory (as St. Augustine teaches). If we keep faith with Christ then we can live in the sure and certain hope of salvation.

  14. Hi Fr
    I went to confession like 3 days ago and feel like going again to confess. Is it too early? Also I confided in my sister about a guy I wasn’t sure about his feelings for me and so had to spill some details about what he did to confirm my suspicion, was that the sin of detraction? Its part of what I want to confess. Also how can one avoid this sin since its something that occurs even without someone realising it, its like an everyday occurence at home whereby the people involved don’t even know that they re doing it. Sometimes they bring stories of what someone did and I feel embarrassed cutting them short and telling them its a sin so I keep quiet. How do I handle it? Thanks

    FATHER JOE: Unless you have committed a mortal sin, you probably should give more reasonable time before the next confession. Warning your sister or seeking support about someone who hurt you is not detraction. Detraction is he sin of revealing another’s faults to another person without a valid reason.

  15. Father Joe
    Battling unemployment and sadness since 2014. No income. No hope. No light. People cheated me and betrayed.

    Father, please tell me when can I die so that this misery ends.

    FATHER JOE: You need to focus on living, not dying. Talk to your parish priest. See what help might be available to you in your community. Remember others who are also alone and afraid. Even if you find little light around you, you can be a light for others. I am not patronizing you or minimizing your pain. It is real and oppressive. If we cannot find light now then we are not ready for what awaits us in death. Desiring an end to things because of hurt and despair is no real resolution. Think of the Lord. He had no where to rest his head. The religious leaders conspired against him and wanted him dead. He is betrayed by a friend… with a kiss. He is scourged and tortured. He is crucified by a world that he had come to save. He continue to love and forgive. He told us to do the same. He becomes the Light of the World. He is our hope. Whatever this world takes away from us, he will restore. Jesus will never abandon us. We are not orphans. We might still have to endure the Cross, but he is in solidarity with us… he has gone before us.

  16. Father when having Masses said is it a necessity to list each and every name of the persons the Mass is being said for or can you have the bulletin list: Living & Deceased the ———- & ———– families and friends. Or is this too vague. God knows who I’m asking the Mass for.

    FATHER JOE: While many like the names announced, it suffices to have them listed in the bulletin and that the priest offers the Mass “for the intention of the giver.”

  17. Hi Father,
    I went to a Confession with a list of sins to confess – I wrote down a paragraph of what I will be saying in confession and I read it in front of the priest. But as I was reading my paragraph my voice got lower at certain points because I got embarrassed by what I was saying. But it’s not like I purposefully tried to hide some of my sins. I am not sure if the priest heard everything I said, but he didn’t ask me to say things again because he couldn’t hear. Are all of the sins that I confessed forgiven?

    FATHER JOE: If you are contrite, confessed your sins and received absolution then your sins are forgiven. Avoid scrupulosity.

  18. I converted about three years ago and I just recently found out that my husband and his ex-wife both had valid baptisms. I understand the church’s position that their marriage has to be annulled in order for ours to be valid. I also understand that I may no longer take the Eucharist until it is annulled. How do I fix this?

    FATHER JOE:

    There is information missing that makes it hard to answer the question. Let me try to explain a few possible scenarios.

    (1) If your husband and his ex-wife were baptized (and neither was Catholic) then the first marriage was a sacrament and requires a formal annulment.

    (2) If only one or neither were baptized (but not Catholic) then your husband and ex-wife would still need a formal case annulment, even if it were only a natural bond.

    (3) If either your husband or his ex-wife were baptized as a Catholic, then the first marriage would have required a dispensation and the vows would have had to be received by a Catholic priest or deacon. If not, then he would need to request a declaration of nullity because of a lack of canonical form.

    If an annulment or declaration of nullity is granted, then you should have your current marriage con-valdated before a priest and two witnesses.

  19. Hi Father Joe,
    I was praying a novena and some thoughts erupted in my mind, saying, “You should have gone to confession before you started the novena…your prayer will be powerless if you pray it while in a state of mortal sin”.

    Should I stop the novena, go to confession, and restart the novena from day 1? or should I keep continue with my current novena and just go to confession ASAP?

    Thank you,

    FATHER JOE: Are you sure you are in mortal sin? We should never be content to remain in that state for extended periods… novenas or no novenas. Please do not treat prayer like magic. Go to Confession so that you will be properly disposed to receive Holy Communion at Mass. Put the gravity in your spiritual life where it belongs.

  20. Hello Father,

    I have a question regarding confession. Firstly I understand that a confession is invalid if one purposefully withholds a mortal sin, but my question is the following: is a confession invalid if someone truly forgets a sin yet later the person remembers the sin and realizes he or she may not have confessed it even if remembered?

    Thank you very much.

    FATHER JOE: If you forget, the Confession is still a valid and good one. If you remember a serious sin that was not confessed, it is already forgiven, but should be told the Confessor later on so that he can give the appropriate counsel.

  21. Hi Father,
    I have two questions about the Sacrament of Confession:

    Q1. I went to a confession a couple months ago, and I confessed my sin in honest manner but I didn’t tell the priest how many times I have committed the sin, because at that time I did not know that I am supposed to inform the priest on the number of the sin committed, and also because I cannot count how many times I have done this because I have done it “so many times”. What I told priest during the confession was that “I have done some psychic readings” .Should I go to confession again because I didn’t tell the priest how many times I have committed the sin?

    Q2. I knew that every Catholic should avoid eating meat on Fridays, but on the last two Fridays I had meat because I couldn’t resist the temptation. Should I go to confession with regards to this matter? Have I committed a mortal sin by having meat on Friday?

    Thank you,

    FATHER JOE: If the priest thought it was pertinent, he would have asked how many so-called psychic readings you gave. Dabbling in the occult is a serious sin, no matter how often, and he probably absolved it as such. The prohibition to eat meat on Fridays has been restored in the UK but only applies to the season of Lent in the US. Of course, if one does not keep the traditional discipline, then he or she should pursue some other penitential observation. Eating or not eating meat, as well as fasting, are disciplines imposed by the Church. The gravity of disobeying the Church depends upon both the matter, what we know and our level of freedom. What would ordinarily be a mortal sin, like breaking the precepts of the Church, might be reduced to something venial due to the subjective condition of the person. MORTAL SIN requires a conscious, deliberate and free act of the will. Thus, while violating the Church law might be a matter of mortal sin, discerning whether it is mortal or venial for you rests with your conscience, God and dialogue with your confessor.

  22. Hi Father Joe,

    I went to Confession and the priest didn’t say “I absolve you …”

    But he gave me my penance (5 Our Fathers and pray for my family).

    Is my confession valid? Should I repeat my Confession?

    Thank you!

    FATHER JOE: Is it possible that you missed it? Some priests give the absolution while the penitent says the act of contrition. If you are certain that he forgot or missed the absolution, you should return to Confession.

  23. Hello Father,

    There are three important factors that are integral to our life and self-understanding as human beings and therefore integral to the working of the principle of sacramentality. If our relationship of going to God be truly sacramental, then this relationship is going to be entered into and expressed by (1) symbols and signs, (2) celebration, (3) ritual.

    In what ways are these three factors articulated in the ff. sacraments? A. Reconciliation; B. Matrimony; and C. Baptism?

    FATHER JOE: This is traditionally where we speak of form and matter. The matter of baptism is water; the form is the verbal trinitarian formula (words) given by Christ. The matter for marriage is the particular male and female body; the form is the vows. You can extrapolate the other sacraments from this.

    There is this statement—God’s presence and action in our lives are always mediated through the created universe, through people, events, and things. We are created by God, both body and soul, intimately connected not only with the universe, but with one another through our human experience. God can only be co-experienced and co-known at the heart of our human experience (Principle of Sacramentality).

    FATHER JOE: This simply means that human beings can only know God in human ways. It is a root reason for the incarnation. God wants us to know and come into relationship with him; however, human parameters are limited and specific to us as social creatures with a shared nature.

    Can you explain how the above mentioned principle is expressed in the ff. sacraments: A. Anointing of the Sick and B. Holy Eucharist?

    FATHER JOE:

    I will not give the complete answer. It is in the book you are reading. But it should be obvious. Anointing of the Sick touches upon our mortality and the mystery of death. We are finite and not in perfect control. Ours is a God who has revealed himself as one who wants to heal and forgive us. He conquers death and offers eternal life. We need each other and we are dependent upon God. Just as we have a desire for healing and life, we also have a desire for food. The Eucharist offers a spiritual food. God in Jesus Christ feeds us with his very self. Just as oil soothes the body, it is associated with a spiritual healing in Unction. Just as bread is regarded as the staple of life and wine the drink that gives joy… the Eucharist celebrates their transformation into the Body and Blood of Christ. God gives us food for the soul. The sacraments express the corporate or communal component of faith.

    Since your statement above is partially plagiarized from Fr. Ian Knox’s book, THEOLOGY FOR TEACHERS, I would recommend that you read further and find the answers there. In the future, please cite your sources and give credit whenever possible. [see Ian Knox, Theology for Teachers, 3rd edition (Ottawa: Novalis, 1999), p. 214.]

  24. Hi Father,

    Since December 4th I have been praying novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, asking for a certain sign. Today (Dec 12) is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and I did receive the sign that I asked for.

    But I am not sure if this sign is really from God or whether I really have obtained it through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, because during the novena I was so anxious about receiving the sign and my prayers were often distracted by this anxiety. I was also not confident about receiving help from Our Lady during the course of novena. My original plan was to pray the novena along with 9 days of rosary for my intention, but on day 4 I quit praying the rosary because I was so anxious that I couldn’t meditate on the mysteries in a proper way. However I did continue the novena prayer (can be found here:

    https://www.americaneedsfatima.org/O…guadalupe.html

    [I prayed it] for 9 days in the midst of anxiety, and somehow, I received what I asked for, but now I have a doubt whether I received this “sign” through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe because I prayed novena with a lack of trust, confidence, and with lots of anxiety.

    Would Our Lady of Guadalupe hear such “weak prayer” and still choose to intercede for me?

    This is just a side note but during the course of novena, in addition to the sign that I was ultimately asking for, I asked for another “extra sign” if my prayers were heard. The “extra sign” didn’t come, however. I now regret that I asked for so many signs from God instead of simply trusting that my prayer was heard.

    Do you think the sign I received today is indeed received through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe?

    Thank you.

    FATHER JOE:

    Mark 8:11-12

    The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

    Matthew 16:4

    “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”

    I think your praying for signs may be a symptom of your anxiety disorder. I have asked for the grace of discernment but I cannot recall ever praying for a sign from heaven. Indeed, I am not sure I would trust what could be coincidence. What you do smacks too much of the fortune teller and one trying to sneak a peek at God’s plans.

    I would recommend a reorientation of your prayer life.

    (1) Give GLORY and PRAISE to God. Adore him.

    (2) THANK him for his gifts and goodness. Trust him and be satisfied with what he has given you.

    (3) Nurture a genuine REPENTANCE and CONTRITE heart. Share with him your sorrow for sin. Love the Lord and make room in your life for him.

    (4) Strip selfishness from any SUPPLICATION and humbly align your will to divine providence. Think of others first and concentrate on what is really needed. Imbue your PETITIONS with charity.

    (5) Make genuine PROPITIATION for sin by bringing your intention to the Mass where Christ makes ATONEMENT or true REPARATION for sin.

    Surrender to God and be not afraid.

  25. Hello Father,

    I have been struggling with this problem for years though I am only 16, (and a catholic) and it has been the source of intense, internal depression which I have never talked about with anyone. It may sound childish but maybe I am unaware if other people struggle with this too. I have really great parents and I just don’t want to lose them. It’s as simple as that. They are just so selfless and my best friends and I don’t know what I would do without them and this is becoming more relevant in my life as they and I get older. I don’t even know how to approach this, so I never have and I’ve let it kill me on the inside for a long time, knowing that life is short and one day I will have to let go of loved ones. This confuses me because on one hand it seems rather selfish to have such a problem since so many kids aren’t blessed with loving parents, but again, this has been more than enough to keep me up at night and in despair for years. How can I find peace and are people somehow reunited after salvation? Also, is it wrong to put so much emphasis on human relationships to the point where I think I could never be at peace without it?

    Thank you, and sorry if it was a little lengthy.

    FATHER JOE: We like having around the people we love and who make us happy and secure. But we must face the issue of mortality. What we have now we will not be able to keep. All things in this world are passing. The joy of heaven is (1) to see God; (2) to have a share in eternal life; and (3) to experience reunion with loved ones among the saints.

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