716-683-2375 sheartshrine@gmail.com

Michael Denz is the Director of Evangelization and Catechesis

at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish and Shrine

O’ Advent

On December 17th the Church will begin praying what are called the “O” Antiphons.  The Church has been singing the "O" Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer every year...

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God’s Path to our Heart

This Sunday’s Gospel shared a quote from the prophet Isaiah:“A voice of one crying out in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made...

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Jesus is Here…

It was a dark time for the Church.  The hierarchy had split and abandoned the truth.  Money was stolen and the most cowardly acts were committed by over 90% of the bishops, including even the pope himself.  God was mocked publicly and no one seemed to care.  It was...

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Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Remember that God does not allow suffering to come your way unless it is to help you advance in holiness.  Men go to the gym and put heavy weights in their hands and lift them.  It is hard.  They suffer.  Their arms get sore.  Why do they do this?  To make themselves...

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When a Loved One Leaves the Church

It would be hard to find any adult Catholic who does not have a loved one who has left the Catholic Church.  It can be a very difficult thing to deal with.  Here are some important things to remember whenever this happens. God is infinitely more concerned and involved...

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From Bishop Fulton Sheen…

Fundamentalism... “Fundamentalism assumes that the Bible is fundamental. Catholicism retorts…that the Bible is not a book but a collection of books, and hence the question more fundamental than Fundamentalism is: Who gathered the books together, and declared that they...

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Before the Beginning…

Before time began there was nothing but the unchanging God… there was a Family. God the Father was, is and forever will be omnipotent (infinite, without limits, all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (always everywhere), Truth, Beauty and Goodness.  The...

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Love is…

Love is an often misunderstood word.  We use it to mean so many different things.  I love pizza.  I love my wife.  The word "love" is used in the two previous sentences in two very different ways.  When I do things for my wife in hopes that she has what is good, it...

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The Mass Foreshadowed…

The first 15 verses of the 6th chapter of St. John's Gospel are the beginning of a great teaching Jesus gives on the Eucharist.  The Gospels tell us of several times where Jesus miraculously multiplied bread to feed a multitude of people.  There are some details to...

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Why is there Evil?

Why does God allow evil and suffering? This is the most difficult question we face.  While all of the Christian Faith, as a whole, contain the answers this question, there are some specific things that can help us. First, as in all mysteries, it is important to know...

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First comes God…

Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And a ruler asked him, "Good Teacher,...

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When I am weak, then I am strong.

In a passage from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians (12:7-10), St. Paul begins: That I, Paul, might not become too elated, because of the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being...

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What is Our Purpose?

A man was walking home to his cabin in the woods one evening.  He spotted a shinny silver colored object in the fall leaves on the ground under an oak tree.  He picked it up and upon further investigation discovered the object was made of metal, about one and one half...

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Guilt vs. Shame

"Catholic guilt" is a term most of us are aware of.  It has negative connotations which involve being made to feel bad for doing something we are not supposed to do.  Our 21st century society frowns upon being made to feel bad (unless you are feeling bad about doing...

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What is Our Value?

What makes something valuable? Is what it's made of the reason?  Like gold or diamonds or solid oak? Is it because it is beautiful?  Like a sunset or a rose or new sports car? Is who made it the reason?  Like Rembrandt or Rolex or Lamborghini? Is something being rare...

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St. Gemma Galgani

St. Gemma Galgani is a lesser known saint who lived in Northern Italy from 1878 to her death in 1903.  When people get to know me, one of the things they find out is that I have a strong devotion to St. Gemma.  The next question people often have is why. About six...

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She waited on them

In the Gospel for Sunday we hear a little story, often overlooked, about Jesus healing St. Peter's mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-39). It was only a fever, it did not appear that she was seriously ill. However, Jesus went over, took her hand, helped her up and the fever was...

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What do you seek?

The passage from last Sunday's Gospel is one of my favorite.  I refer particularly to the first 5 verses, John 1:35-39.  It was first shown and explained to me over 20 years ago by a then young Franciscan priest.  Since then, it has become more and more meaningful to...

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What is Truth?

We seem to have lost an understanding of objective truth.  The powers of the world around us are subtlety, and sometimes not so subtlety, nudging and pushing people to believe everything is subjective - that there is no objective truth.  This is nonsense, and it is...

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What color are Jesus’ Eyes?

Sometimes we think we know someone real well, and then that person asks us, "Without looking, what color are my eyes?" and we have no idea! While it's not necessarily true that we need to know the color of someones eyes to know them well, there is a reason for this...

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True Love Hurts

“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”  -Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen The Venerable Archbishop is well known for his...

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More Subtle…

"Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made." This is from the Book of Genesis, chapter 3, verse one.  The serpent being referred to is Satan.  This is the first time Satan is mentioned in the Bible and the one thing God...

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Whose Mass is this?

Jesus, the evening before He gave His life for us, celebrated the Passover with His best friends.  He fulfilled the promise of this ancient meal by transforming it into the very meal it had always forshadowed. The Passover in Egypt, where the blood of pure male lambs...

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The Elder Son

Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most well known of all the stories Jesus told, even though in only appears in St. Luke's Gospel, chapter 15:11-32.  Often the story is explained from the view of the younger son, who's the title character, the Prodigal...

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The Secret of Authority

Authority has become a dirty word.  Anyone with authority is either lording it over the weak and innocent or answering for it's neglectful misuse.  In America we question authority.  We usually don't like authority, and often hate those who have it over us. Problem...

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Fear Not

"While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe."  And he allowed no one to...

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Explaining our Treasure

One of the difficulties we have as Catholics is trying to explain our Faith to those outside the Catholic Church.  Why does the Church teach what it does about things like artificial birth control, same sex attraction or Communion to those who are not Catholic.  We...

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Trust

Grandpa Joe stopped by his daughter's house one fall evening to visit with the family.  He had brought a lollipop to give to his granddaughter, 4 year old Zoe. Grandpa Joe sat down on the couch, smiled at Zoe and said hello.  Zoe stood by her mom, clutching her leg...

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And He taught…

I searched for the word "taught" in the four gospels.  I wanted to see how many times the gospels said Jesus taught.  I found it used in this way a total of seventeen times: And he opened his mouth and taught them. -Matthew 5:2 He taught them as one who had authority....

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Peace be with you…

Peace. This is a popular word people associate with Jesus - often at Christmas time.  This is because of St. Luke's telling of the angels visit to the shepherds on Christmas.  The angels have just announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, then they sing: "Glory...

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So, what’s the Good News?

Who doesn't like good news?  When someone comes home and says, "I have good news!", don't you just feel better already, before you even hear what the good news is? Then there is church.  At Mass the same phrase is used: "Good News".  Sometimes it is translated into...

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The Obstacle

The last two Sunday readings gave us a quick lesson on papal infallibility.  Two Sundays' ago, Peter declared with divine help that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the Living God." This past Sunday, Jesus told the Apostles "that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer...

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Abundantly Fearful

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." -John 10:10 Thief (Satan) = Steal, Kill, Destroy. Jesus = Abundant Life Choose. Choice seems easy, right?  When you boil it down like I did above we can feel...

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Excuses

Dr. Scott Hahn, a premiere Biblical theologian, was speaking to a small group of people about the importance of studying Scripture.  He mentioned how he is often met with the following objection people have about the importance of learning Scripture: "If the poor...

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Persistence

I had a short visit with a friend yesterday.  She told me about how her husband has been suffering from chronic tinnitus since April.  They have tried all the suggested treatments to no avail.  There is no cure.  They have gone to healing Masses and have had his ears...

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Immediately they left

I'm the kind of guy who gets attached to things.  I don't like change (unless it's the change of seasons).  I grew up in a house in Elma that my parents built in the 1950's. The youngest of six, I spent every Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday in that house.  Just 8...

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After reading Sacred Thinking “I was impressed by Mike’s ability to keep things simple while still making important spiritual points.”

  • Dr. Jeffrey Mirus, Founder & President of Trinity Communications,  Founder of the journal Faith & Reason and Co-founder of Christendom College

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