Quotes for Life: Prayer for Good Humor

Every day after his morning prayers, Pope Francis recites Saint Thomas More’s “Prayer for Good Humor.” Here’s how it goes:

“Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest. Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it. Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments, nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.” Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor.
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy, and to be able to share it with others.”

20th Sunday of the Ordinary Time

A HALF CUP OF INSPIRATION WITH FR. TAT:

“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”  (Luke 12:49-53)

Everyone always wishes for peace. No one wants war, conflict and division.

Jesus announced, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” What did Jesus mean? Did Jesus bless us with all the bad and difficult things in life? – No.

Jesus always wants the best for us. Maybe he wants us a different kind of peace, the real true peace within, not the false peace of empty noises. He wants us the peace of joy, justice and inclusiveness.

Some of us appear to be very peaceful from outside, look very nice and friendly, talk very politely, but they already picked and chose the fixed way of judging other groups of people. They are so discriminated. They are so exclusive. They are so rigid and close-minded. There is no “gray” part, only “black or white”. There is no “both-and” argument, only “either-or” statement. This type of peace is only the peace of a subgroup.

Catholicism, the Church of Jesus Christ, is the religion of inclusiveness, forgiveness and everyone. Jesus invites everyone to come to his Father, especially the sinners, the poor, and the marginalized. If we keep our own definition of exclusive peace, we will divide among ourselves again and again. We never find unity, healing and true peace.

What a blessing for us to be able to worship and work together in diversity here. May we, the St. Gerard Majella Community, live up to Jesus’ command and spirit so that we can truly promote the peace of joy, justice and inclusiveness here and now.

– Fr. Tat Hoang, C.Ss.R.

19 Sunday of Ordinary Time

A HALF CUP OF INSPIRATION WITH FR. TAT:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32-48)

These days, Jesus reminds his disciples about their daily life as well as eternal life. “Do not be afraid any longer.” What are we worring the most these days in our lives?

The tragedy is that we are worrying about our short temporary needs while God “is pleased to give us the kingdom.” The whole kingdom God will give us. We constantly run and work, compete and compare, control and play politics to gain some power and benefit from one another. Some even are willing to attack or kill others to get what they desire for. The question here is: “Are we still believing that God gives us the kingdom?” Our fears will influence and control our thinking, actions and future destiny.

If we allow God to decide and plan for our lives, we will be free from all anxieties and unnecessary fears. We will be free for expressing our strength, friendship, love, joy, and need. We will be free to give, to serve, to pray and to live everyday.

I wish and pray that each one of us will develop a faith with Jesus, through Jesus and in Jesus so that we, as a whole community of St. Gerard, freely live, work and pray together everyday.

Let’s pray for all students as they prepare to go back to school with good health, happiness and enthusiasm. May all teachers be blessed with wisdom, courage and generosity to serve young people to discern God’s gifts in their lives. And may God bless us eternal joy now and forever.

Prayerfully,

Fr. Tat Hoang, C.Ss.R.

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

A HALF CUP OF INSPIRATION WITH FR. TAT

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:1-12; 17-20

Dear disciples of Christ,

“Who are the disciples of Christ?” You might ask. You are; I am; and we are the disciples of Christ.We are called and sent to be disciples of mercy, forgiveness and love. Jesus called and sent seventy-two disciples to go out, to preach the good news, to heal the sick and to pray with the poor and abandoned.

We should be so proud and happy because God invites each one of us personally by name. The most joyful and rejoicing news is: “Our names are written in heaven.” Today, we should celebrate our vocation as baptized Christians. We are called to be holy and to share God’s blessings with everyone without condition and without border.

What a privilege to work with God and for God in the vinyard. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” I would like to invite youpersonally to reflect on your gifts, availability and time to see if you can work in the following ministries at St. Gerard’s community:

  • Finance council (internal dimension)
  • Parish council (external dimension)
  • Sacraments team (spiritual dimension)
  • Giving Communion to the sick and homebound
  • Youth and young adults
  • Extraordinary ministers (Lectors, Ushers, Altar servers, Eucharistic ministers, sacristans, choir)
  • Catechists
  • Bible study
  • Helping the homeless or poor
  • Interfaith dialouge
  • Counting collection money
  • Alumni
  • Cleaning the church, chapel and office.
  • Bingo
  • Prayer group

I thank God for your great generosity to St. Gerard’s Church. I am glad to share with you a picute of Mary Ann visiting Ms. Kim and giving her Communion every Thursday. May God continue to bless us with joy and grace to generously share God’s blessings with others around us.

Gratefully,

Fr. Tat Hoang, C.Ss.R.

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time

A Half Cup of Inspiration with Fr. Tat :

“Give us each day our daily bread.” Luke 11:1-13

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

St. Alphonsus Liguori, Founder of the Redemptorist and Doctor of the Church, taught, “No Prayer no salvation.” The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. My primal profession as a priest and a Redemptorist minssionary is to pray. With gratitude and joyfulness, I pray “Give us each day our daily bread.” And indeed, I’ve received abundantly everyday blessings upon blessings from the Lord through all of you and events.

I have come here to serve at St. Gerard Majella Church – A Redemptorist Family for only three weeks. However, I felt like I have been here for a long time. We meet. We laugh. We exchange stories. We celebrate. We care and share together. Especially, we prepared together for the Blue Mass last Sunday to honor our First Responders. And it went so so well. I personally thank each one of you to join together to make this event so honarable and beautiful.

God has blessed and guided me everyday. I have no fears. I remember my dad used to teach me how to pray. He always prayed to God everyday saying, “Give us each day our daily bread.” He never asked God for more than he needed each day. He entrusted his family to God with this prayer. God takes care of his family of 6 children (5 boys and 1 girl). We all are grown up and successful now. I am grateful to my parents, family and friends.

Life is beautiful. And life is full of surprises. If we keep ourselves open and trust in the Lord, we never lack of God’s blessings and guidance.

Instead of asking for more from God, we might need to recollect ourselves to give God thanks for so many blessings in our lives through our family, work, faith community and friendship. Gratitude is the foundation of prayers.

Gratefully,

Fr. Tat Hoang, C.Ss.R.

Who is Redemptorist?

THE REDEMPTORIST MISSIONARY
Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy; denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that they may bring to people plentiful redemption.
(Constitution #20)

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time: A Cup of Inspiration with Fr. Tat

“He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord” (Psalm 15).

 We thank God for our Governor, Mayors and all First Responders for working so tirelessly last week to make sure all citizens and families protected from the tropical storm Barry.

This Sunday is a special Sunday for St. Gerard’s community. We have a blessed opportunity to celebrate the “Blue Mass” to care, share and pray together for the First Responders, living and diseased, in our community, city, state and country. These First Responders are our police officers, firefighters, EMS, military men and women, coast guards, security officers, chaplains of hospitals, doctors and nurses. They are secretly and tirelessly working for the sake of the common good of all citizens and families. My first and last words for them are: “THANK YOU.”

“He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.” This phrase is from the Responsorial Psalm today. The First Responders are the ones who are called and sent to do justice in our society today. They represent justice. They keep us safe. How many times we believe that they live in the presence of God and God is with them always?

We live in the world in which people live so much in fear, suspicion and doubt. We do not easily trust one another. We constantly run fact check to find “the truth”. Unfortunately, we are cautious for everything. If we live justly, we should not be so worried.

Justice of God is not only about right from wrong, but also about hospitality, compassion, wisdom, common sense and trust. Abraham and his wife Sarah, in the first reading today, invited three strange men to rest and eat at their home because they saw them in need. In contrary, these three men blessed them back with the abundant grace of God to have the firstborn baby after a long time yearning.

The ultimate justice is: We all need God’s grace, blessing and even forgiveness in our lives.

May we all live and do justice. May the presence of God be with each one of us. May God bless our First Responders and our families with abundant peace, protection and love.

– Fr. Tat

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time: A Cup of Inspiration with Fr. Tat:

Who was neighbor to the robbers’ victim? – “The one who treated him with mercy.” (Luke 10:25-37)

Dear friends of Christ,

This is my first official message as a new pastor of St. Gerard’s parish. First, I want to sincerely thank our previous pastors, Redemptorists and all parishioners of this parish, especially the former pastor, Fr. Chuong Cao, C.Ss.R., for serving this parish so faithfully and generously. I am so blessed and lucky to be able to follow the service and hospitality of all of you.

Secondly, I am here to serve all of you in the pastoral and sacramental need. Many people have congratulated me and prayed for me as I assume this ministry. I have to confess with you that I will work all my best, God will take care the rest. With God, everything is possible.

Thirdly, I am so privileged to meet with so many of you. We exchanged names, smiles and hopes. Some of you whispered in my ears, “Fr. Tat, we are behind you. Let us know what you need. We are here for you.” I am so grateful for you. We need one another to build the kingdom of love and unity. We do not work for each other, but we work with one another. I will work with you.

Jesus invites us to “treat others with mercy.” I was broken and abandoned before. God sent many “good Samaritans” to pick me up and heal me. I am still here because of so many good and generous people. Let us be merciful and welcoming towards others in our society and community today. 

I have hope. And our hope is here and now.

Who is Redemptorist?

THE REDEMPTORIST MISSIONARY
Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy; denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that they may bring to people plentiful redemption.
(Constitution #20)

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