Bethany Charismatic Catholic Church
of Canada / USA

Pastor’s Monthly Message
February 2017

A horizon is simply the limit of one’s view, not a fixed point, not a beginning or an end. But even if we know that, it’s still easy to believe that what we see is all that there is.

This is especially true that the new year is here. Newspapers and TV programs are filled with reviews of the past and projections for the future. All too often these are negative, and they fuel fear. People take stock of their own situation as the year turns, and in these days of the credit crunch, the financial outlook can be very uncertain. Sometimes there are mistakes in the past that can’t be put right or circumstances ahead that look like a dead end. This may make the coming year a precarious time for many. How is it possible to feel hope in the midst of anxiety? If someone is walking a tightrope, is there a net underneath? Is there anyone there to help, or are we alone?

This is when prayer can show what’s beyond the horizon. Just as from a plane you see the first light of day sooner than you see it from the ground, prayer also changes one’s viewpoint. Even when you seem to be standing on the brink, prayer can open thought to a source of good that never fails.

Some friends of mine who are artists and who have five children were hit hard by the recession. People loved their work, but no one was buying. Their savings ran out, and one weekend they had 8 pence with which to feed the family. The mother was in tears. But she was used to praying, and friends comforted her with assurances of God’s love and care. At that moment she received a text message from her son saying that someone had visited their showroom and made a cash purchase. Dinner would be on the table! They realized that over the years, even when things appeared hopeless, their needs had always been met. Instead of fear, gratitude became the family’s theme song.

People of faith have always known just how hard these no-hope times can be. And so, from ancient times, Scripture has always guided believers to prayerful dependence upon God: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” And again, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Contemplative prayer opens thought to a more spiritual sense of life, to the hope and comfort that are always at hand. It puts us on a new path, healed and renewed.
One of the blessings of prayer is that it turns you inward – first to God, and then outward to the needs of others. Many pray for the situations they read about in our world. This includes people they haven’t met but whose lives have touched them through the media. No one need feel alone when they are included in this family of prayer. This can be a lifeline during a struggle with hopelessness. A touch of prayerful love can help bring someone safely into the new year, and also into a more hopeful sense of life.

Surveying today’s headlines, one sees many reasons for hope and encouragement. The ability of nations and individuals to work together may be severely tested, but the desire to progress is deep in the human heart. These efforts deserve our recognition and support as we pray for our health and well-being and that of the world. One of the psalms reads, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

As we move forward through the beginning of this new year, let us recall the opening prayer of the Mass of the Epiphany:

Father of light, unchanging God, today you reveal to people of faith the resplendent fact of the Word made flesh. Your light is strong, your love is near; draw us beyond the limits which this world imposes, to the life where Spirit makes all life complete. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

In His Light,
Bishop Raymond Contois

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Bethany Charismatic Catholic Church

Bethany Charismatic Catholic Church is located at
167 Dunhamtown-Palmer Road
(off Rt. 20, on Palmer/Brimfield line)
Brimfield, Massachusetts
(413) 324-1164

Mailing Address:
Bethany Charismatic Catholic Church, P.O. Box 607, Palmer, MA 01069

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There is no past in Bethany.
Only the present ... and future hope.
Father Lataste