Help Support Prairie Hoof Farm

It seems like there’s been a flurry of meritorious GoFundMe campaigns during this Lenten/Easter season. Well, there’s another worthy campaign that I am bringing to your attention…

PLEASE… if you can.. support Prairie Hoof Farm by Kevin and Mary Ford in their attempts to re-establish their farm to the Topeka, Kansas region.

The Fords:

TheFordFamily

Kindly go to the GoFundMe link and read up on it; Kevin tells it much better than I can.

But in short, the Fords currently run a farm in south-central Kansas. It has experienced a few bad years, “bad” enough that it would have convinced most people to hang up their mucking boots (or whatever it is that farmers wear when they muck around in pig … stuff…) and repurpose their life. But not Kevin. Kevin, you see, is the founder of the “New” Catholic Land Movement. Kevin descibes the NCLM succinctly:

“A great hope we have for our farm is to make it a place where families can come to live, work, and pray together. Our culture so fragments life today that we feel an experience like this on a farm could really help families to be what they are meant to be. Making our business successful will help us to be able to fulfill this ministry. We would like our farm to one day be a base for the New Catholic Land Movement to use to train families in homesteading and farming-related skills.”

This is Kevin with a pig friend: (The boots he’s wearing are what I was referring to a couple of paragraphs above.)

Kevinmuckingwithapig

Kevin maintains a site and blog dedicated the the NCLM, where there is a more complete description of it: Introduction to the New Catholic Land Movement.

Please find it within yourself to contribute… This is an excellent opportunity to help an independent business, complete with family to boot AND help an aspect of American culture that need invigoration. If you are a Catholic who supports certain aspects of Catholic Social Teachings such as “solidarity” and Distributist economics, this is a way to get involved. Thanks!

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

repentance posting

OK, I did it again! Although I didn’t formally announce it, I sort of strongly implied that I’d be blogging daily during Lent. I actually may have come out and said it, I don’t remember.

Well, no posts these past two days. {{{sigh}}}

(The “I did it again!” refers to my annual Lenten pledge to blog daily, and then failing to do so. It’s been done once, maybe twice. Probably once.)

Well, I’m not going to beat myself up over it; I will just resolve to get back up and proceed onward. And that is a lesson for all of us sinners. We repent and confess our sins; we relapse and sin again. Do we quit with the repentance and confession? After all, we’re probably just going to do it again! Of course not! Even though we will probably commit the same sins, or even new ones, we still pick our sorry selves back up and repent and confess. As long as it takes (which will probably be the rest of our lives).

This separates the saints from those who are not. Saints ALWAYS pick themselves back up and resume.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

WWJD

There’s a fad, mostly over, I think, concerning how a Christian should behave in a particular situation. “WWJD,” as in “What Would Jesus Do?” The implication is that He would be “nice.”

There’s a joke going around the Internet which suggests that whenever asked, “WWJD?,” you should state something like: “An acceptable response might be to grab a rope, make a whip out of it and go berserk against wrongdoers.”

An excerpt from the Gospel from today’s Mass for the Third Sunday of Lent:

John 2: 15-16

“And when he had made something like a whip out of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, including the sheep and the oxen. And he poured out the brass coins of the moneychangers, and he overturned their tables.

And to those who were selling doves, he said: “Take these things out of here, and do not make my Father’s house into a house of commerce.””

via Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible.

Jesus was angry. If you’ve been in a Twelve Step recovery program long enough, you’ll hear things like “anger is best used by people who can handle it,” which is essentially correct as we alcoholics, even after a long time in sobriety, have a difficult time with anger. We dwell on those things that make us angry, we obsess about them, and sometimes resentments develop.

Does this mean we should never become angry? An impossible task if you ask me. So it could suggest that we should “pick and choose” what we get angry about.

Of course, this takes practise. A recitation of the “Serenity Prayer” often throughout the day might help.

Also, anticipation of things that might happen during the course of your day is good, too. In any given normal day, certain situations arise which typically might make you want to reach for a whip and drive people away from you because they are annoying or irritating. Would that we could.

So plan ahead.

Another thing: the world is crazy and getting crazier. You might want to “pick and choose” what news you pay attention to. Don’t become an ostrich and plant your head in the sand and ignore the world; just be careful regarding your news intake (however you manage it – news sites, social media feeds, whatever.)

But what about righteous anger? Again, sometimes that “is best used by people who can handle it.” But I think that as Catholic Christians we should not take the easy way out and say that because “we’re alcoholics and addicts, we can’t deal with social problems since our sobriety might be threatened.” We have access to the Sacraments, namely the Mass and the Eucharist to help give us strength and courage. We can get interested in life issues, homelessness and poverty. We are called to do that. Within our means and abilities, yes, but we should not ignore problems for others to handle.

Again, the Serenity Prayer can help. Also the realization that we can do things in solidarity with others.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Help One Dying Veteran Have a Home

The other day I blogged about my wife’s efforts to help the homeless, in Tents for the Homeless, and yesterday was an effort to help out the widow of a US Marine. Now I’m exhorting you to consider another Work of Mercy (which, as I said in my post about my friend the Marine Corps widow, doing charitable works seems to be recurring theme in the Lenten Mass readings.)

Miki Odendahl, a good online friend of mine from whom I’ve learned many things is raising money to enable a man to die with dignity. This is NOT the “die with dignity” euphemism that covers “assisted suicide,” this is an effort to prevent a homeless American veteran from dying alone in a street or in a ditch somewhere…

To quote from the “GoFundMe” campaign: “My name is Miki Odendahl, and I’m the co-director of the Gilbert House Catholic Worker Community in Western Wisconsin. That sounds like something, but really, it’s just me and my best friends, with a phone line and big mouths doing what we can to serve our local area in whatever ways we are able….

… Clarence lost his apartment, whilst he was in the hospital recovering from a shattered knee injury, because his landlord was jacking up the rent. Bad news, because Clarence has been very sick, receiving kidney dialysis 3 days a week at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Since July I’ve been trying to find affordable housing for this homeless U.S. Veteran with little success. I have talked to multiple people in the mayor’s office … I have called every single number on every single housing list I could get my hands on in three counties, I have connected with every appropriate agency and veterans group, and I have talked to every … politician’s office in my district–…-on Clarence’s behalf, and still, here we are 8 months after my husband and I put all of Clarence’s worldly belongings in a storage locker, and he is exhausted and surfing sofas with family and friends who are bending their own rental agreements to keep him out of the cold. The long and the short of it is this:

He’s dying, slowly but surely, and at the end of this month he will have worn out his welcome with all of those who can help him stay close to his hospital and his two young children. ..

...I hear many people talk about dying with dignity. This man served his country with humility and honour, and I want him to be able to live out the remainder of his young days with the dignity due a man of his station. He served or nation without expectation of anything in return, and now I want him to experience the gratitude he deserves.
PLEASE HELP ME TO FIND CLARENCE RICE A FINAL HOME.”

To contribute, please go here: Help One Dying Veteran Have a Home by Miki Odendahl – GoFundMe. It is a wonderful way for those who “Support the Troops” to do something…

clarence

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The person who brings a sinner back

What do you do to bring people back from sinful ways?

An excerpt from the Reading from the Evening Prayer for Friday of the Second Week of Lent is James 5: 19-20 –

“Remember this: the person who brings a sinner back from his way will save his soul from death and cancel a multitude of sins.”

via Divine Office.

I hopefully use this blog to successfully do this. I may only know just how successful during my Particular Judgment. But in keeping with that idea, do you use social media like Facebook and Twitter to bring people to Christ?

You might want to think about that…

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Please help a USMC widow…

Yesterday I blogged about my wife’s efforts to help the homeless, in Tents for the Homeless. Today is another day in which I’ll be exhorting you to consider another Work of Mercy: (a common theme in the Lenten Missal readings…)

Stephanie Price, Marine widow.

Stephanie and her late husband met on CatholicMatch.com, where I also had met my wife. We continued our friendship with Steph on Facebook, (her husband wasn’t a member.) Our little group of CatholicMatch alumni were devastated with the news of her husband succumbing to PTSD and depression.

To quote from the gofundme campaign: “Stephanie, his beautiful wife who stood by him and tried all she could to get him the help he deserved is now left to pick up the pieces of their family life.

She is the one who has paid it forward for so many. Now this is our opportunity to not only show gratitude for a friend, but to also say thank you for YOUR service, devoted wife of a US Marine who dedicated his life to improving our lives.”

So, for all those who “Support the Troops,” now is your chance to do something. Michael had served in three branches of the US military (Marines, Army, National Guard.)

3576798_fb_1425518222.5883_funds

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Tents for the Homeless

If you have been reading my Lenten posts that are based on the readings from the Daily Mass and the Divine Office, and have been duly inspired to read the day’s readings yourself, you’ll have noticed that many of them during the first week of Lent or so have been focusing on “social justice” issues. The readings have been exhorting believers to do good works, to liberate the oppressed and so forth. Basically, to perform the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

After reading this article in the Buffalo News: A lonely, frigid death on Buffalo’s streets, my wife Rose Santuci-Sofranko decided to do something about it.

She created a Group on Facebook to serve as a sort of liaison or go-between for people and companies or organizations who have resources, and those who can use them. The Group is called: “P.O.P.-U.P. T.E.N.T.S. (Protect Our People – Unite Please – To Ensure Necessary Temporary Shelters) and it “is a Western New York State (and beyond) Grassroots effort to match up people who can donate tents for the homeless with those organizations who can distribute them to the homeless…in particularly those, who for whatever reason, cannot or do not make use of homeless shelters…especially in the bitter cold of Winter.”

“UPDATE: We have several agencies willing to give out the tents….BUT…we need help getting donations of tents so these agencies can give them out. Recently a homeless man died while wandering around in sub-zero temperatures in the city of Buffalo….another was interviewed on the news after having his legs amputated due to exposure to the cold…. nobody should have to live…and die…like that. We all need to do something! If you can donate and/or find companies to donate pop-up tents or other supplies…. or….if you are an organization (homeless shelter, church, social service, etc….) and can distribute these tents to the homeless… please post here, so we can match you up with each other to help those in need. Even a pop-up-tent to block the wind, and keep the snow/rain off the homeless may help to save their lives. Thank you in advance for your help! God bless you one and all!”

“Thank you in advance for anything you can do. God bless you all!”

Go here, to support the effort: 4-THE-HOMELESS-POP-UP TENTS. Please and thank you!

We are not taking any money, just putting people who have in touch with people who don’t have. Perhaps you can buy these kinds of tents and contact a homeless shelter or other advocacy organization where you live, or maybe even contact sporting goods stores and see if they can donate. You can be the go between for your area! The Facebook Group my wife started can be the place where you can coordinate efforts, suggest ideas, plan campaigns…

Ronald Hunter, Jr, via Buffalo News.
ronald

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings

Do you trust others? Rely on people? We all do, to a certain extent. But not everyone is completely trustworthy. We alcoholics know this too well, in part because we were oftentimes the one least trusted.

Nevertheless, God revealed to the prophet Jeremiah in the First Reading from today’s Mass for THursday of the Second Week of Lent that:

Jeremiah 17:5

“Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is a man who trusts in man, and who establishes what is flesh as his right arm, and whose heart withdraws from the Lord.”

via Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible.

Place not your full trust in humans. Everyone will let you down to varying degrees. Some people only in small ways (human nature, easily forgiven) but others in deeper, more fundamental ones.

“Jesus, I trust in You.” Place your recovery in His hands.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Free me from the snare

Alcoholism had us (or still has) ensared us in it grip. By our own efforts we are unable to free ourselves from enslavement.

An excerpt from the Responsorial Psalm from today’s Mass on the Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent is a very good prayer for those still trapped, or for anyone still struggling in some way:

Psalm 31: 5-6

“You will lead me out of this snare, which they have hidden for me. For you are my protector. Into your hands, I commend my spirit. You have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth.”

via Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

You cannot serve both God and mammon

An antiphon during Evening Prayer for tonight is: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

The nice people at Divine Office who put together the online Liturgy of the Hours that I quoted above has this to say about “mammon.”

Definition of Mammon: Mammon is a term that was used to describe riches, avarice, and worldly gain in Biblical literature. It was personified as a false god in the New Testament. The term is often used to refer to excessive materialism or greed as a negative influence.

It is also a false god in today’s modern world, corrupting Christian culture and belief. The Lenten practice of “giving up” something may be useful here. Try “giving up” materialism. It’ll open up many avenues of grace from God. You’ll also better appreciate what you have.

I’ve talked about it before: Gratitude: Wanting what you have

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"