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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Understanding God's Plan

This is part four in my series on Trust. You can read the previous posts by clicking on their titles here:

Part One: Waking Up to our Need for God
Part Two: Wake Up and Lean Into God
Part Three: It is Well

Excerpt from Part 3:

"Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well, it is well,with my soul."

This is the level of trust to which we are each called. It is a trust that brings great freedom in our lives. When we can truly give it all over to God, even in the middle of great pain and suffering, then we can be free to live a life of joy.

God's Promise
In order to have this kind of faith in God we must first understand God's promise for us. We must understand that our God is a God of love, a God who loved the idea of you and I so much that he created us out of love. He created us not for his own musing, but for our own good. He envisioned our lives and saw that it was good. Indeed God created us for a purpose.

There is of course much debate about the idea of a Creator. First, let me say that it really doesn't matter how you believe the earth was created. Whether there was some form of evolution, a big bang, or God was literally forming us like clay in his hands, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is that we understand He created us for a purpose.

We are not accidental beings. If we were accidents, then we would not have a purpose, which would mean that we would not strive for anything. Deep down we each know that there is a purpose to our lives and that in itself proves that we are not some accidental creation. If we just happened by chance then our lives would just happen by chance and we would live without any hope for more. Certainly there are people who don't feel like they have a purpose, they may have given up on finding their purpose in life, but I have yet to meet such a person who is not unhappy or depressed. Why is that? Because deep down they know they do have a purpose and they know they are missing out on something.

God created us out of love. He created each of us with unique gifts, talents, dreams, and desires. His love for us is so great that he will never give up on us. In fact His love is so great that he didn't give up on us already. God's plan for humanity was that we would be in union with him in the garden. That our lives would be full of joy, peace, fulfillment and creativity.

Out of love for us he gave us free-will. Our free-will allows us to make choices, both good and bad. It allows us to love or hate. Obviously God understood that we could possibly fail at this, and we have. But in his faithfulness he never turned his eyes away from us. All through salvation history we see the story of God trying to join man back to himself. He went so far as to send His Son Jesus to walk among us and die for us on the Cross. God's plan hasn't changed. He still intends for us to walk in union with him. He made us to be one with him.

That is where our true joy lies, in complete union with God. Saint Iraneaus said, "The Glory of God is man fully alive." How true this is. We are the crowning jewel of God's creation and he is pleased with all that he made us to be. Our fulfillment is glorifying to God. It is God's desire that we find fulfillment and lasting joy and peace here on earth so that ultimately we may one day be reunited with him in Heaven.

In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that he "came that they might have life and have it more abundantly." This is God's desire for us. He has not destined us for a life of gloom and despair while on earth. We are not in some waiting room just biding our time on earth. God desires us to have life to the full, that we might use those gifts, talents, and desires that he has placed within us. Then God's ultimate plan will come to pass, that we will be united with him in heaven. This is the promise we have in God. Our faith is rooted in this very promise of God's undying love for us. It is through our faith in this promise that we find the joy and lasting peace that I spoke of earlier. When we take hold of this faith and begin calling on God's promise in our lives that we can begin to trust God to a point of knowing no matter the circumstance that "it is well."

Read Part Five in this series here: "I Only Have Good in Mind for You"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It Is Well

This is part three in my series on Trust. You can read the first two articles here:
Part One: Waking Up to our Need for God
Part Two: Wake Up and Lean Into God

At the end of Part Two I posed this question for you to reflect on:

If you woke up tomorrow and everything you had was gone, everyone you loved was no longer in your life, every part of your life that put a smile on your face was no longer there, would you still have joy in your heart, would you still have God's peace in your life, would you still know that despite all that you lost, despite any pain you may feel all will be well?

I'm sure that for some of you that question may have put you off a bit. "All is well? How could all be well if I lost everything I ever loved? Joy in my heart? How could I have joy in my heart at such a time?"

Let me clarify for just a moment. First of all, joy and happiness are two very different things. Happiness is generally a feeling or emotion that we have in the midst of doing something enjoyable or when we hear a good joke or the like. Happiness is fleeting. I am not speaking of happiness when I speak of joy. Joy is something deeper, it is the deep seeded smile in our being that despite all obstacles all will be well. It is possible to be joyful and have sadness at the same time. Sadness too is more of a fleeting emotion, unlike despair which is also deep-seeded within us. So when I ask "would you still have joy in your heart?" I am not ruling out the fact that you will feel sadness and probably loneliness. But, would you still be able to find within you the joy and peace that belongs to those who trust in the Lord?

Let me illustrate with one of my favorite stories:
There was a wealthy business man in the 1800's named Horatio G. Spafford who by all accounts had it all. He had a beautiful family, a thriving business, expansive real estate holdings - by all standards - life was good. Then his son died at a young age. Just as his life seemed to be getting back to normal, he lost most of his real estate including his home to the great Chicago fire of 1871. All he had built and worked for was gone in only days. As if that wasn't enough, a couple years later he and his family were set to sail to England for a vacation. At the last minute he was required to stay behind for a few days to tie up a business transaction. His wife and four daughters traveled ahead and he was to meet them later. On their journey the ship carrying his wife and daughters collided with another vessel. The telegram that his wife sent to him read, "Saved Alone." His daughters were killed in the tragic accident.

Imagine for a moment the horror of this news. This man had literally lost everything. While he was on a ship to meet his wife, he passed by the point where his daughters had been killed, in that moment Spafford penned these words.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

What a powerful witness to God's grace in our lives when we trust in him. One may wonder how Spafford could have such a willingness to trust that all would be well despite what he had been through. That willingness to trust comes from a place of faith. Spafford knew already that this life was not all that there was for him or his family. He knew that God's promise was still true and he knew that despite the personal pain and suffering he had been through, Christ's love and sacrifice were proof that "it is well" indeed.

Spafford knew in his heart of hearts that there was still more grace and more glory to this life. This is not to say that there were no tears, I'm sure Spafford suffered greatly from these tragedies. Still, his faith had taught him that there was more to this life, that despite the pain and sorrow of his life God's promise was still great and heaven was still waiting."Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say... it is well, with my soul."

Picture for a moment the worst tragedy in your life. Picture a time in which something horrible happened in your life that you were not expecting. It could have been the loss of a parent or grandparent, the sudden death of a loved one in a car accident, or the loss of your home in a natural disaster. Most of us have never experienced the catastrophic loss of multiple children, or the devastation of a massive fire. However, we've all experienced tragedy in one way or another. Now picture yourself back there in the midst of that tragedy. No matter what it was. Picture yourself standing in the midst of it all and saying with heartfelt conviction:
"Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well, it is well, with my soul."
This is the level of trust to which we are each called. It is a trust that brings great freedom in our lives. When we can truly give it all over to God, even in the middle of great pain and suffering, then we can be free to live a life of joy.

Read Part Four of this series "Understanding God's Plan" here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

800 Men Gather on Long Island for Christ

God is Love: In the Company of Men

This is good news! 800 Men gathering to focus on Christ is a huge victory in our culture. I hope this story inspires more men to do the same.

Wake Up and Lean Into God

This is part two in my series on "Trust" You can read part one here "Waking Up to our Need for God".

We have learned to accept exterior comfort in place of internal peace of heart and mind. I know it in myself. It seems I pray pretty darn well when I am in need of something. Boy I can pray when I'm trying to stretch that paycheck just a little further than it can go. But, when I have a little extra to throw around I find I don't have so much time for prayer. Why is that? - From "Waking Up..."

Since September 11, there have been even more tragedies, the Tsunami in Asia, Hurricane Katrina, the shootings at Virginia Tech, the bridge collapse in Minnesota. How many more wake up calls will we need before we realize that while we can do it our way, we must first lean into God a little more.

I do not believe that we have a punishing God and I certainly do not believe that God intended for these events to happen. Our God is a God of love, he would never perform such an evil act on his people. However, I do believe that he uses events in our lives to work in us. When we say all things happen for a reason it is not to say that all things were planned, good or bad. God did not plan for us to sin, he did not plan for wars, he did not plan for Katrina, or September 11, or my Grandpa's heart attack. His perfect plan was for us to live perfect lives in union with him.

Since sin entered the world however, we have lots of consequences to deal with and tragedy is one of them. So, while God must allow events to take course in order to preserve our free-will, he does write straight with crooked lines. Through the aftermath of these tragedies God tugs at our heartstrings, he calls us home to him. We must learn to trust in him through all things, good or bad. We must remember that his love surpasses all things and that we need him in our lives, no matter how good things may or may not be.

There are many people who lost everything in these disasters, they lost people they loved, they lost money, they lost their homes. For many, they literally had nothing left. What these tragedies seem to do for us is to remind us that we are fragile beings and that we need God no matter what, for indeed the good and the bad in life will pass. If our trust is in God, then do we find joy in the midst of all that we struggle through.

It reminds me of a question I often ask people to reflect on during retreats. I would ask that you take a moment to read this question and then close your eyes while you reflect on it. Allow yourself to feel the weight of this question and the weight of your response, no matter what it is. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It merely tells you where you are in your walk with God, so don't feel judged by what you think I want you to say, just allow yourself to honestly look inside:

If you woke up tomorrow and everything you had was gone, everyone you loved was no longer in your life, every part of your life that put a smile on your face was no longer there, would you still have joy in your heart, would you still have God's peace in your life, would you still know that despite all that you lost, despite any pain you may feel all will be well?

Read Part Three of this Series: "It is Well" here

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waking Up to our Need for God

I believe that if any lesson is to be gleaned from the tragedy of September 11, 2001 it is that no matter how much we have or how good our life is we need more than anything to cling to God. At the time I was working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tempe, Arizona as the youth minister. I awoke to a roommate knocking at my door saying to get up, something horrible had happened.

Together the four of us along with a guest watched in horror as the towers fell. We all know the emotion of that day. Each time they repeated the footage of the plane entering the tower I felt a blow to my chest. Then we watched in utter horror as the towers each fell. With each image my heart and soul was pierced.

Our guest had arrived the night before in Arizona, he had moved from New York and this was how he spent his first day in his new home. For all the sorrow and pain that the rest of us felt, we could not help but hurt for him as he frantically called those closest to him only to find that phone service was cut-off. Without hesitation we all entered into prayer. On our knees we begged God's grace on this moment, for us, for our friend and those he loved back in New York, and of course for all of those who must have lost their lives. To this day I still ache when I see images of that day, or when I recollect memories of that day.

What a horrific event. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to watch that and not have their soul shaken about. It was a wake up call, a reminder. It was an event that would have us all checking ourselves and our lives a bit. There are countless stories of divorced couples who reevaluated their lives and got back together, family members who reconciled past differences, and countless people who came back to Church, at least for a time.

I recall the prayer service that our church held a day or two later. It was at lunchtime. We left the service open to the public. It was amazing, I would say there had to be well over 1500 people filling the Church which sat only about 1200. People were pouring in from all over. Many hadn't been to church in a very long time. Yet, the way people prayed would have made you think there was a revival going on. People prayed with everything they had. For the next month or so it seemed that attendance was up at most churches. People had woken up to their need for God, at least for a time.

That is the sad part, it was only for a time. It seems that it is easy to forget our need to trust in God. We are a nation of doers. We thrive on adversity and overcoming obstacles. The more we can succeed autonomously, the more we are praised for our victories. "I did it my way", goes the song and we love that song. We cheer as Sinatra bellows the final chorus, "I did it myyyyyyy wayyyy!"

What September 11, did for us as a nation was to wake us up to our need for God, Psalm 23, was sounding pretty good as we walked through that valley of death as a nation. Yet, that seemed to only last for a time. Once the stock market bounced back, businesses got to be booming again, and the unemployment lines got shorter we started singing our favorite old song again.

We have learned to accept exterior comfort in place of internal peace of heart and mind. I know it in myself. It seems I pray pretty darn well when I am in need of something. Boy I can pray when I'm trying to stretch that paycheck just a little further than it can go. But, when I have a little extra to throw around I find I don't have so much time for prayer. Why is that?

[This post is the first in a series of posts I will be doing on Trust. Click here to read Part Two "Wake Up and Lean Into God".]

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Meaning of Life: Sacrifice

Todd Lemieux has a great post on The Meaning of Life: Sacrifice. This is turn our culture on its head kind of stuff.

You should read Todd's blog over and over, then read Ephesians 4 and 5, then maybe read Todd's blog again.

You also can check out my humble post on Sacrifice here. I didn't get nearly as deep as Todd, but the discussion is a good one.

It is in the dying to self that we live!

Are you giving life?

In my post "Living Life-Giving Lives" I posed two questions,

1. What am I doing in my life that is life-giving or creative?

2. Am I seeking to give life to others through my relationships and encounters?

As I was writing two more articles on this topic I was thinking that before I went on further I would like to get some input from some of my readers on those two questions. Please read the "Living Life-Giving Lives" and come back here to post your comments to those two questions. Feel free to reply to one another and discuss.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bishop James Wall

Today is a very special day as Fr. James Wall, someone I once had lunches with and who helped guide me early in my speaking ministry is ordained a Bishop and installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup New Mexico. What an incredible blessing to know someone who is being called to be an Apostle, to be in the line of the original twelve. We are so blessed to have Bishop James Wall and I know that he will lead the Church of Gallup very well.

He is a wonderfully humble man with a deep spirituality and a great demeanor. He is also a video game nut, loves his sporty suburu coup and is a great guy to hang around with.

You can watch the ordination live at 2pm MST which is 4pm ET on and learn more about Bishop Wall or watch it later on at

Prayers for His Excellencey James Wall, Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Excitedly working on new site

I'm very excited that in the next couple of days I will be launching a beautiful new site with a few more features and no google ads.

Thanks to all of you faithful readers for your support and feedback. I've always wanted to reach out through the internet and I'm finally finding the time and excitement to do so. After a couple of months of getting to know some of my readers and praying about this little blog I've decided to improve upon what I've done and add a few things. Some stuff will be up this week, other things I'll be working on in the coming weeks and months.

Please do subscribe and note that I will be switching the subscriber feed in the next few days. If you for some reason do not get a new post in the next few days please come on this site and drop me a line.

If you have ideas for my site or something you've seen me do that you'd like to see more of, now is a great time to give your suggestions.

In Christ,
Chris Faddis

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Game Time. Are You Ready to Help Fight the Good Fight?

It's Game Time. Are You Ready to Help Fight the Good Fight?

Posted using ShareThis

The Conservative Democrat with Liberal Leanings to the Republican Party

The Conservative Democrat with Liberal Leanings to the Republican Party

Please Read Todd Lemieux's latest post. Absolutely perfect summary of what we are called to as Catholics/Christians. It is one of the greatest tensions of our lives to remain faithful to God and vote in a way according to that rather than the other way around.

God is Love: The Conservative Democrat with Liberal Leanings to the Republican Party

Living Life-Giving Lives

I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10

In the sum total of your life there will be a simple formula by which you are remembered. It will not be the amount of fun things you did, it will not be the death-defying stunts you did, it will not be the amount of money you made, it will not be the amount of accolades you received, it will not be the nice cars you drove, it will not be the number of touchdowns you scored, it will not be how good looking you were, it will be none of those things. In the sum total of your life, the math will only be this; did your life give life to others? Or to put it another way, "was your life creative?".

We are by our very nature creative. At the center of our human nature God made us male and female and gave us the parts necessary to in fact create life. He also gave us talents and abilities which are of their own miraculous. The simple tasks that you and I do each day may not seem extraordinary or even creative but have you ever had a moment when you were doing an every day thing like turning on a light where you stopped and thought of how incredible it is that Thomas Edison came up with the light bulb. Have you ever had an incredible meal and wondered how the chef or cook came up with such an incredible recipe? How is it that some people just know what will taste good? We are indeed creative at our core.

This is why I say that in the sum total of your life and mine there is a simple formula - did you give life? Unfortunately, for many of us we tend to take more than we give. I talk to people all the time who seem to just live life as if it were one big bank account meant to be spent until the last cent is gone. I actually met a man in an airport smoking section once who was enjoying a very nice and expensive cigar. As we were talking the man and he told me how he had made a lot of money in life and now that he was retired he was going to spend every last cent before he dies. He said "I hope that I overdraft on my last day." I laughed - because in my mind he must be joking - and he said, "I'm not kidding. I don't want my kids to get any of it, it is all mine. I made this money and it is mine to spend."

Are you living your life as if you are trying to overdraft your account?

There are lots of people who live this way and sadly many of them look to be living the good life. Many people applaud this kind of living even faithful believers in Christ. Still you may be wondering why it is so important that your life be "life-giving".Perhaps this short story can help:

There are two bodies of water in Jerusalem. One is flourishing and full of life. There are people congregating on its beaches regularly and wild-life everywhere. There are birds of all kinds, the waters are teaming with fish, the trees and wildflowers grow abundantly, and the water is beautiful and clear. The other is quite desolate. You would never choose to swim in this water. Its banks are bare and wildlife is hard to find. People do not congregate here and most people wouldn't eat fish caught in its waters. Both bodies of water are fed by the same river - the Jordan - so why is it that one is so full of life and the other not. Because the first, the Sea of Galilee pours out a drop of water for each one it takes in. It gives away all that it has and as such it is full of life. The other, holds the water in and never lets it out of its banks, it is called the Dead. - Matthew Kelly from Rhythm of Life

If you are living a life that is not creative or life-giving you will become stagnant just like the dead sea. On the contrary the more you seek to be "life-giving" or creative with everything you do, you will find abundance in your life. I will share more on this topic in the next day, but for now consider these questions:

1. What am I doing in my life that is life-giving or creative?
2. Am I seeking to give life to others through my relationships and encounters?

Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section. It will help me in my next couple of articles.

In Christ,
Chris Faddis

Saturday, April 18, 2009

CBS Movie about Catholic Social Worker in WWII

Beautifully this movie will air on Divine Mercy Sunday! Tomorrow April 19th at 9pm ET. Rumor has it that Irena kept a Divine Mercy prayer card with her when she was imprisoned and kept that card her entire life.

I hope and pray she is considered for Sainthood.

Story Courtesy of Catholic News Agency:

New York City, N.Y., Apr 18, 2009 / 12:58 pm (CNA).- On Sunday evening CBS will broadcast a movie about the heroic efforts and “courageous heart” of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker who created and led an underground group that rescued Jewish children from Nazi persecution. Sendler created and led a conspiracy of women who moved in and out of Warsaw’s Jewish Ghetto disguised as nurses. While saying that they were simply to prevent and contain the spread of Typhus and Spotted Fever, Sendler and her companions helped the children of consenting Jewish parents escape imminent deportation to death camps, CBS' website says.

The children were sometimes sedated and hidden inside boxes, suitcases and coffins to escape the ghetto. They were given new identities and placed with Polish families and in convents.

Sendler kept a hidden record of the children’s birth names and locations in hopes that they could be reunited with their families. About 2,500 children were smuggled to safety, with none being discovered by the Nazis.

After the Nazis discovered her operation in 1943, Sendler was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo, who broke her feet. On the day of her execution, she was rescued by the underground network “Zegota,” with which she had worked to save Jewish children.

She kept a Divine Mercy holy card from her prison cell until 1979, when she gave the card to Pope John Paul II as a gift.

CBS will broadcast “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,” a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, on Sunday, April 19 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. It will star Anna Paquin as Irena while her mother will be played by Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden.

Nathaniel Parker will play the role of Dr. Majkowski, the head of Warsaw’s Department of Health who helped Sendler’s operation. Goran Visnjic will play Stefan, a Jewish university friend of Sendler with whom she fell in love when she began her underground operation.

The movie is based on Sendler’s authorized biography, Anna Mieszkowska’s 2005 book “Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Irena Sendler Story.”

Sendler was granted the title “Righteous among the Nations” by the organization Yad Vashem of Jerusalem in 1965 and was nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She died on May 12, 2008 at the age of 98.

More Videos on Irena:

A clip from the Movie

On Glenn Beck

Oh How We Need His Mercy

Tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday. The day that we as Catholics celebrate the outpouring of God's mercy that he promised to St. Faustina. Christ gave Faustina the prayers of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and said we ought to recite it as often as we can, especially in times of great need or trial.

I will write more about this great prayer later but let me just say here that this prayer has saved my life and my family in so many ways. It is only be Christ's mercy and by calling on that mercy through this prayer that I have gotten through so many situations in my life.

We need God's Mercy for so many reasons and only you know why you need His Mercy today. I encourage and even beg of you to pray this prayer today, for yourself and for your family and all those that you love. Beg God for mercy daily.

Below is a recording of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy from It is a great way to pray the chaplet especially if you have never prayed it or get distracted easily like I do.

You can also go to this site to learn more about the Chaplet and to get instructions on how to pray it. (Note: in your own prayer of this Chaplet you do not have to sing it like in the video.)

In Christ's Mercy,
Chris Faddis

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rule for Married Couples

John Paul II’s ‘Rule’ for married couples discovered, published by newspaper
From Catholic News Agency

“The Rule is aimed at married couples in their entirety and not to spouses as individuals. It is important, indeed, that it is adopted and put in practice by the couple, not solely the husbands or wives without the commitment of their spouses.”


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Handing Over the Spirit - TRUST

In prayer today I was trying to focus on the prayer and not what I was praying for. I was praying a Chaplet and kept losing my focus to worrying about what it was I was offering up. As I sat there losing my place for the fifth time I finally stopped and ask God why I can't focus.

I just want to trust God with everything; I want to hand it over and trust that he will take care of it all. But instead I'm sitting there thinking of solutions, figuring it out in my head while I recite the prayers. Why?

In truth I think it is because where the rubber meets the road when it comes to trusting God is in actually handing over our troubles one by one and actually letting go. This is what God desires of us in prayer. To hand it all over to him and let it be His concern. "Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?" Matt 6:27

I began to think about Christ on the Cross in that moment of handing over His spirit and breathing his last. He had to actually hand over his spirit; he had to lay it down. He had to trust that His Father would not fail Him.

I think about that in relation to my own struggles. I must hand each one over to God and die to it. Christ breathed his last and so too must I breathe my last breathe of concern and worry. I must give it over to Him and die to the worry - If I hand over my worry, my anxiety about one thing or another - I must like Christ say "into your hands Lord I commend my spirit." Not so I can pick it back up later. Often I think we pray, and then we go to work trying to solve this or that. Or we pray and let it go only to wake up in panic the next day continuing to worry. Rather, what we ought to do is breathe our last concern over that matter, hand it over to the Father through Christ's Divine Mercy and allow Him to do the rest. In a sense we are waiting for a "resurrection" of that concern/worry/situation.

This is a difficult task and one that must happen over and over again, as new situations rise in our lives and we hand them over one by one dying to our worry a little more each day. Each time we do this His infinite Grace and Mercy fill that place in our hearts and goes to work in our lives.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, I place all my trust in you.

I offer this simple prayer to help you in handing it over to Christ.

A Prayer of Trust
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit; my human weakness, my frailty, my anxiety and fear. Into your hands Lord I commend __________________ (list a concern or burden). I die to this worry in full trust and confidence that your mercy and grace are sufficient for me and that just as your Son rose from the grave you will resurrect this situation in my life.

Another prayer from the Divine Mercy Novena:
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion —
inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in
difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great
confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
If you haven't prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet I encourage you to pray it regularly to help you in this dying to your worries and concerns. You can find it here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Work of Salvation

So Easter Sunday has come and gone. It was a beautiful day. I enjoyed my time with my wife and daughter and with some new friends. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and the beautiful surroundings of Graylin Manor, then some quality time outside. It was such a great and blessed day.

So now what? Easter is only one day for most people in this country but in the Church Easter goes on for a few more weeks. We continue to reflect and rejoice on Christ's victory over death. So what about you and I?

I am always joyful on Easter Sunday. I feel great as we celebrate the Resurrection. I feel great as I spend time with family and enjoy the beautiful day. Then as the day wears on I find myself kind of wishing the day would not end. Like a kid at the end of spring break I don't want to go back to the day to day struggles of life. I want to be lost in the Resurrection every day.

Why do I lament the day after the Resurrection? As I pondered this question yesterday I came to one conclusion: for us as Christians we must go through many deaths to self and our sinful nature before we will truly experience resurrection. Put more simply, I know that there is a lot of work to do in order for me to truly experience Resurrection.

Yes, Christ died for my sins, he went deep into the pits of sinfulness and evil and rose victorious over sin and death - giving us a pathway to heaven. This is joyful news. This is news to celebrate. But this pathway to heaven takes work. In order for me to experience true resurrection I have many things to overcome in my life. I have to go through a lot more "good Friday's" and I have to go deep within and face the sinfulness and evil within. I do this with Christ as my healer and teacher of course, and he will help me to rise victorious over the sin and evil in my own life.

But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, `I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope. For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades. - Acts 2:24 - 27
I guess the hard part is not the work of healing sinfulness, because that work is not for me to do. It is taking that first step. Recognizing patterns of sin in my life is easy, admitting to them and taking them to Christ asking Him to heal them is the hardest part of all. But in today's first reading I am reminded that my "Lord [is] always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken." So as we begin this journey of Resurrection in our own life this Easter Season, let us "dwell in hop. For [God] will not abandon [our souls] to Hades."

I move forward in Hope, rejoicing in the Resurrection even as I die to my own selfishness, pride, greed, lust, envy, sloth, hatred, anger, vanity... Therefore my heart will be glad and my tongue will rejoice.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Joy of the Resurrection

Short and sweet today.

Today we celebrate with great joy the Resurrection of our Lord. He is Risen indeed.

Celebrate today, get lost in the Resurrection. Sometimes we have a hard time focusing on the good because there is so much in our lives we have to worry about. Today I pray that you get lost, get lost in celebrating the beauty of the Resurrection. Get lost in in thoughts of Heaven.

For me heaven is outside. I will be spending much of my day in the warm sunlight, with a cold drink in hand, getting lost in the blue sky and thanking Jesus for coming through for me.

Tomorrow I can get back to the everyday concerns, but today we stop, we celebrate, we get lost in the revolutionary love of the Cross and hope of the Resurrection.

With a joy-filled heart,
Chris Faddis

Friday, April 10, 2009


As I sat in the fourth row back of our Church gazing at the newly painted Corpus (Christ's Body on the Crucifix) I was enamored by the beautiful detail of Christ's body. The Corpus is an incredible masterpiece with the detail of the muscles being as remarkable as any world-class athlete on the front page of Sports Illustrated.

I have no clue if Christ was so physically fit as he is portrayed. I do believe however that he was perfection, the beautiful form of His body on the Crucifix represents that perfection. That perfection of both body and spirit for he was both humand and Divine.

As I prayed my Chaplet of Divine Mercy and gazed upon this work of art I couldn't help but think how this beautiful body was completely wrecked on Good Friday. Most of the Crucifixes in American churches do not show nearly how band his body would have looked. If anything they might show a little blood in his side where he was pierced. You don't see the blood marked slashes that would have been all over. Truth be told that you would not probably be able to recognize his body as human.

On Good Friday we remember how perfection was completely wrecked for the sake of our sin. Each slash, each rip of skin, each piercing of the crown, was taken by Christ so that he could save us from sin - so that he could pay for my sin.

As I sat, imagining his beautiful body be destroyed I thought of how some of those marks, were for me. It is hard to imagine someone taking being scourged at the pillar for my sake - but it happened.

Christ was completely wrecked in order that you and I could have salvation.

Last week I was asked to give a brief talk to some teens at a nearby parish. I was asked to speak about Christ's passion. As I was speaking I could tell they needed a visual to help them focus. I had someone get down a two-foot tall Crucifix off the wall and hand it to me. I held it up and showed it to them, saying they needed to look at Christ and what he did for them. I encouraged them to pass it around while I spoke and each take a moment to look at Him and His sacrifice for them.

I handed it to the first teen and said to take a few moments and pass it around. Before I turned away from him he had passed it off to the next person. I must admit I grew a bit angry. I stopped, turned to him, took the Crucifix back from the next teen and said, "Hey, don't just pass Him off without looking, take a moment, look at him, look in His eyes - HE DIED FOR YOU. And you don't even stop to thank Him?" I handed the Crucifix back, and looked him square in the face and said, "He loved you enough to die for you, now you take some time to thank Him."

I turned back to the group and went on with my sharing. I could tell they were taken by surprise and probably a little nervous. But the truth is they needed to be told that this was serious. We have no reverence for Christ's suffering - his sacrifice for us.

Below are some photos for you to gaze upon. Just as I told that teen, "Look at Him, look in His eyes, HE DIED FOR YOU!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

At the Table

Holy Thursday is my favorite of all days in the Church year. I love the whole Mass, the washing of the feet, the breaking of the bread, the beloved disciple resting his head on Jesus' chest, the betrayal - I love the whole story, the whole mystery.

Every year I reflect on some different part of the Holy Thursday traditions, some years I've tried my hardest to "stay awake" with Christ while he agonizes in the garden, some years I reflect on whether or not I would deny him three times, other years I've spent time thinking about the ways I was Judas.

This year I'm finding myself thinking about being at the table. I think that is my greatest desire, to be at the table with Christ. I want to be a part of that moment, the moment that we "re-present" each Sunday. I wonder at times if the Apostles knew this would be their last "good" moment with Jesus. Did they savor every morsel, did they hang on his every word, did they take it all in so they could never forget that day?

When Jesus took the bread and broke it, saying "take this all of you and eat this bread." Did any of them have chills realizing that this meal was different than all the meals they had enjoyed with him before? Did they know that what was being shared in that moment would last forever and would be done over and over again all through history?

The truth is I don't have to wonder what it would be like to be sitting at that table with Jesus and His Apostles. I am at the table with them every time I go to Mass, and so are you. Each time we go to Mass we participate in that last supper, we are invited to sit at the table with Jesus' closest friends and to "take the bread and eat it."

So I think to myself, well if I am at the table with them, which one of the Apostles do I most closely represent?
- Am I John - the beloved disciple - resting my head on Christ's chest?
- Or am Thomas, wanting to believe all that Jesus is saying but still holding out for proof?
- Am I Peter - the eager servant who knows he will get it right, but in truth will fail three times?
- Or worse, am I Judas, selling my Lord for 30 pieces?

Truth be told, I think I'm all of them. In many moments I am His faithful servant, waiting at His chest, allowing Him to love me. Then there are times when I'm just not sure, "is He really going to get me through this? Will He really be risen?" Oh for the times I have denied his name in simple and big ways. I think of the times when someone has brought up their disregard for a Church teaching or made a comment about our beliefs and I have simply remained silent, even when they've asked my opinion. Have I betrayed Jesus - sadly I must "confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do" - yes I have betrayed Him many times. I have sold my Lord for 30 pieces.

Yet, I am still sitting there by his side taking His flesh and blood and taking in His words. I am constantly amazed at how no matter what I do He still calls me by His grace to come to the table and take part in that great mystery of the Last Supper again and again.

I imagine that when Peter heard that Jesus had indeed risen he was a little nervous to see him, because he had indeed denied him. Yet, Jesus loved him just the same. Same still with Thomas who still doubted, Jesus did not rebuke him, rather he invited him to see the proof. I wonder about Judas, what if he hadn't committed suicide, would Christ have welcomed him back to the table.

Just as he welcomes you and I and all sinners to sit at the table I believe that Judas would be sitting there too if he had only turned his face back to Christ.

Today, you and I are invited to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples and to take the bread and eat it, and to drink the cup - as they are transformed into His Body and Blood and we are transformed into His faithful disciples.

"Come, and sit at the table, and I will give you rest." (cf. Matt 11:28)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Is it a Holy Week?

Hear we are on the first day of Holy Week. Passion Sunday came and went and I imagine that this week will pass by as quickly as the rest and next Monday while standing by the water cool we will all say things like, "can you believe Easter is over."

Yes, Holy week is upon us and I find myself wondering, how am I going to ensure that this is not just another week. I have to be honest I don't feel like my "lent" was all that remarkable and that is certainly because of me and no one else. I didn't really enter in this Lent and for that I am heartily sorry. I read blogs of friends who are making real strides at prayer this Lent and I have a little bit of remorse that I did not take more time aside this Lent and allow my journey to be one marked with change.

As we enter into this Holiest of weeks, as we prepare our hearts for the Passion, death, and resurrection of our savior, I pray that I may slow down, pause, reflect, and allow the Paschal Mystery to change me from the inside out this week.

I would love to hear your thoughts? What are you doing to make this week Holy in your life? What ideas have you heard or things do you do that you would like to pass on to me and others who are wanting to make this week a special one?

Please share in the comments below. I pray that we each have a blessed and truly transforming week. May Christ's sacrificial love pierce our hearts.

In Christ,
Chris Faddis

Thursday, April 2, 2009

#1stFriday - Calling all Catholics to Prayer

To My Brother's and Sisters in Christ,

I was thinking today of how we Catholics on Twitter need to unite in prayer for one another and be available for prayer for others. What a difference we could make by interceding for one another on a regular basis. As a start I propose that we take advantage of 1st Friday observances. Many of us attend Adoration, a special Mass, Rosary group, and other observances of 1st Friday in our parishes.

What I would like to propose is that on every 1st Friday we post our prayer requests/intentions with the hashtag #1stFriday - be sure to use the number 1 as #FirstFriday - spelled out is already used by other groups who do art gatherings, etc. Then when you are going to go to Adoration or whatever you do on 1stFriday you can do a search for #1stFriday to find other people's prayer requests and take them with you.

Intercessory prayer is a very powerful gift that God has given us, this is one step in allowing prayer to transform our world.

1. Each #1stFriday - post your prayer requests with the hashtag #1stFriday (anyone can do this - you do not have to be Catholic -we just want to pray for you) - Note you could add your petitions on the day before in order to ensure that early Mass attendees can take the prayers with them.
2. Before you go to 1stFriday Mass or Adoration, etc, run a search in for #1stFriday - you can either print out the prayers or just remember them as you head out. Here is a link to the RSS feed for the search

3. Offer these petitions and pray for one another.
4. Spread this message to all the Catholics you know on Twitter. If folks follow through on this I will set up a website for people who are not on Twitter to post but for now let's get #1stFriday's moving on Twitter... tell all the #catholics out there!

Your brother in Christ,
Chris Faddis

He was filled with Grace

Exerpt from The Catholic Sun, Catholics reflect on the man who forever changed their lives

“But what I will never forget was a moment that may not have lasted long in which I looked into his eyes. It was then that I began to understand why his presence was so overwhelming. I saw in his eyes a love that I had never seen before,” Faddis said. “I swear that I saw the weight of God’s love in those eyes.”

It’s moments like this one described by Faddis, that have a profound, lifelong impact — and there are thousands of Catholics throughout the diocese who have similar experiences to share. - Robert DeFrancesco, The Catholic Sun, Sept. 6, 2007

That's me - the skinny kid holding John Paul II's hand - and that is the moment, a moment I'll never forget, it was the moment I saw the depth and mystery of God's love for me.

In that moment, locking eyes with John Paul II of blessed memory I saw through him the love, the mercy, the generosity of God's love. This moment which I have relived over and over again is the moment in which God used his humble servant to share His love with me, and it is the moment I believe which has led me to youth ministry.

John Paul II is known and remembered for so many numerous acts, words, and deeds that made a difference in millions of lives. We remember him as a champion of social justice, a
defender of life, a fighter of the communists, and a victor over evils of all kinds. Still, he was merely a man - a man called by God, who through faithfulness and great courage became a walking and living saint.

For a long time I wondered why that experience was so powerful to me. I mean, he was merely a man and I had met so many famous people before and never had the same reaction, nor did it ever have the same effect. Why had his presence, his holiness, and his simple look given me such a powerful and life altering glimpse into the mystery of God's love for me?

It was shortly before his death that I had the realization that John Paul II was so filled with God's grace that he truly had been a mirror of God's love. That is our goal to become "full of grace" - that is why Mary is our model, and that is why the Saints are so important. John Paul II was a living, breathing, walking sign of God's Grace in our horribly confused and troubled world.

Today we remember him and ask him to pray for us. John Paul II, thank you for living out the Gospel in such a Heroic way.

To read more about my experience check Catholics reflect on the man who forever changed their lives