What is your good news?

Destruction of economies, missile tests by rogue nations and no solution in sight, the dissolution of societal mores, left  to himself man will screw things up every time.

We need to attune ourselves to the workings of grace in our lives.

What is your good new?

I am prompted to post the question again after reading this from a reader (edited):

I’m very grateful to have received this sacrament [of Penance] Saturday morning after essentially being away from the Church for nearly five years.  During that time I had committed some very serious, habitual sins and was certainly drowning in venial sins also.  This great blessing came exactly one year after my leaving the hospital.  I had been recovering from an illness that wasn’t diagnosed and treated until I was medically in the coma and death danger zone.  My soul had been in that range for quite a while.
 
God can certainly use difficulties and error to actually point a soul in the right direction.  For me, the controversy surrounding [X], caused me to do a bit of ‘Google’ research into the matter.  Eventually that led me to finding your blog and reading your post on the NCR piece.
 
Then I read other posts with their comments and started listening to Radio Sabine. And, yup, FatherZ, your 3.30.09 Savage Chicken entry and the posts and comments that followed also played a role in my return to Confession!
 
Next week [we] will celebrate 25 years of marriage.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by this—my return to the faith and the Mystery of the sacraments.
 
Now my heart is overflowing with wonder and love.  I could say so much here but I’ll just add one comment about what I consider a very special aspect of being in a state of grace that I don’t hear discussed much anymore: The ability to ‘offer it up’, to unite my suffering and pain to that of the Mystical Body of Christ.  In the back of my mind I did think about this over the years.  I have chronic illnesses that involve physical (and emotional) pain.  It would come to me every once in a while that I was wasting this God given opportunity to be so useful to the Church.
 
Here’s my additional (partial!) gratitude list for today…
 
•    for my steadfast Catholic [spouse]
•    for a new job and return to employment, beginning this Holy Week
•    for birds! (and their reminder of Matt. 6: 26-27 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? )
•    Thomas a Kempis and FrZ’s readings from “The Imitation of Christ”
•    Z-chat! 
•    EWTN
•    My anticipated return to receiving Holy Communion
•    The grace to recognize sin for what it is, requiring God’s direction and graces to overcome (not some psychological mumbo-jumbo to fix ‘self-esteem’ problems).  I don’t always see or accept that grace but I now realize it is an ever-present, free gift from my Eternal and Almighty God, Who is incapable of withholding His love for me, ME, just one more unworthy sinner!

Please share!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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40 Responses to What is your good news?

  1. alex says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, This Easter vigil the following will happen: My dad will make his 1st Communion and be confirmed, my young brother will be confirmed, and my parents will have their marraige convalidated. The first and last after 15 long years of praying. Thanks be to our most good and gracious God.

  2. Allan says:

    I started praying again. Sometimes I make the pain the prayer as other suggested. I get news on my MRI and my battle with pancreatic cancer this Thursday. I will go to confession this week. Keeping it positive,

  3. cathguy says:

    Beautiful witness! Wonderful story!

    I am grateful for my wife who is steadfast and solid and is homeschooling our growing brood.

    I am grateful to my pastor for standing strong on moral issues.

    I am grateful for my job, and the fact that it looks secure for next year… at this point.

    I am grateful for the papacy of Benedict XVI.

    I am grateful for the Eucharist and Confession.

    I am grateful for the fact that so much knowledge about the faith is available today thanks to the wonders of this new technology. The early Church fathers in their entirety, the bible, the catechism, blogs such as this… all FREE.

    I am grateful that more bishops seem to be standing up for the culture of life.

    I am grateful that the USCCB had the courage to publish a document on contraception a couple of years of ago.

    I am grateful to the Knights of Columbus. The latest edition of our magazine speaks a great deal about Theology of the Body and the dangers of contraception.

    I am grateful that many beautiful old Churches are still standing and are still in use, and that they provide a silent witness to what new Church architecture ought to be.

    I am grateful for Summorum Pontificum.

    I am grateful for Lent. The opportunity to contemplate the suffering Christ and remember what He did for us.

    I guess that is enough for now. That is all good news though!

  4. RichR says:

    I’ve been reading Fr. Gabriele Amorth’s sequel to his Exorcist book, and it has given me a more firm resolve to live in Grace.

  5. Barbara Kohler says:

    Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of me coming back to the Church after a 38 year absence. I found a great church. So now I go to church because I “want” to go and not because I “have” to go.

  6. Josiah Ross says:

    My parish is baptising 14 converts this easter!

  7. Abe Tolemahcs says:

    I’m grateful for having survived being struck in January by a falling tree in January in which I suffered 8 fractured ribs, a ruptured kidney and a punctured/collapsed lung.
    My lung and kidney are fully back to normal and I have since returned to my previous exercise routine.
    The impact of this tree narrowly missed my spine which would have certainly resulted in paralysis or death and if the tree would have struck me a little higher it would have
    struck me in the head.
    Grateful??? You better believe it.
    Thanks again God.

  8. Landon says:

    I am happily looking towards Saturday, when I will be received into the communion of the Church and Confirmed as one of the faithful.

    I will finally have the opportunity to receive my first Eucharist, and break the fast that has left me sacramentally starving.

    I am grateful that there is a nearby EF Mass every Sunday night that is incredible.

  9. We kicked off a 40 Hours’ Devotion with a Latin-and-chant-filled Mass Saturday morning at one of our local parishes. There were some complaints about “all the Latin” at Saturday’s Mass; but the people joined in the chant like old pros, proving that neither the Latin nor the chant are all that hard. This particular parish has for decades been the victim of all sorts of kooky experimentation (spiritual vivisection, really) in everything from distorted architecture to chaotic lay “leadership”; however, it has also been the one parish in town with a 7:00 a.m. daily Mass (offered by the late Msgr. John Donoghue until just a day or two before his death). It also has regular adoration. It is as though Jesus has personally taken this suffering parish under His care in a special way until such time as His children decide to straighten up.

    Oh, and more good news: there was actually an abortion clinic across the street from this parish, which I understand just closed (finally). The people at the 7:00 a.m. Mass pray hard for an end to abortion.

  10. Sal says:

    Allan,

    It’s good to hear from you. May God envelope you in His mercy and compassion.

  11. irishgirl says:

    I had something nice happen to me this past Saturday-I got a phone call from my English priest-friend! He was ordained by John Paul II in 1982 on the last day of the papal visit to Britain. I met him on October 13, 1988, in Fatima-quite an ‘accidental’ meeting! We’ve been corresponding since then.
    The last time I saw him was in October 1999 in his parish in the north of England.

    He [almost] always calls me on Christmas and Easter-and sometimes on ‘ordinary’ days!

    He is my dear friend and ‘brother’! And how he loves to talk!

  12. saintinthemaking says:

    Our parish has around 90 elect and candidates. (Could be more, I lost count!) I’m sponsoring two lovely girls who will receive their first communion and be confirmed.

  13. Dr. Eric says:

    My 7 year-old son made his first confession two Saturdays ago. He asked my wife when he could go back. He said that he didn’t get to go this weekend because he was with his grandparents and they didn’t take him, but he wants to go back as soon as possible.

    His ol’ dad is hoping that he will be a priest. Actually, I’m praying that both my boys will be priests and both my daughters will be nuns.

  14. Brian says:

    Our local paper just published a wonderful article on our local TLM:

    http://latininpatton.blogspot.com/2009/04/4509-johnstown-tribune-democrat-article.html

  15. Amanda says:

    We are going to have another TLM in our area at a time that is much easier for big families. In preparation, I’ve been going through the extraordinary form with the kids of a large homeschool family before their first TLM in May. The 9 yr old boy, after reading just a few of the prayers, said “this is so much better… why don’t we do this all the time?”

  16. meg says:

    My son will serve his first Mass ever (an EF Mass – Deo gratias) next month! My heart sings.

    Allan – we will pray for you.

  17. Paladin says:

    Not only does the school at which I teach have “spring break” during Holy Week (by happenstance, regrettably), this year, but I can finally get my wife (who doesn’t drive) to Daily Mass every day this week (for which she’s been longing)!

    P.S. Cathguy: if you ever need free math tutoring assistance via e-mail, let me know (click my link, and you’ll find my e-mail address); I’m quite serious (I teach Algebra I through AP Calculus)! Nothing’s too good for homeschoolers, IMHO…

  18. jesuitschooled says:

    There are probably numerous things in my life that I look past and not realize how lucky I am to have them. It’s definitely a failing in many people, including myself obviously. Things I am most grateful for would be the gift of music that God has given me and my mother has nurtured. A composition of mine is being performed by my aunt this Good Friday and she is flying me to Pennsylvania to not only see it but be a part of it as well. There have been stumbles along the way but God has always provided answers and solutions. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my music, a 9-piece work entitled “The Passion of Christ”. Deo Gratias

  19. roxanne says:

    I am grateful for the upcoming 2nd anniversary of my new Catholic faith.

    The writings of Chesterton.

    St. Louis de Montfort and his teachings on Mary and the power of the Rosary.

    My orthodox Msgr.

    The most challenging and yet rewarding Lenten season, I have ever had.

    And of course, for Fr. Z and WDTPRS!

  20. Anthony in TX says:

    saintinthemaking,

    Whoa! 90 elect and candidates? I thought we had a lot with 30, which includes a family of six – My good news.

    They all made thier first confession on Saturday and will be received into the Church during the Easter Vigil.

    Come Holy Spirit…

  21. Kelly Clark says:

    +JMJ+

    I get to go to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every day! Every day! The enormity of this blessing occurred to me when I heard a priest talking about his assignment in an area of Argentina, where the few priests there traveled from place to place to try to make sure Sunday Mass was celebrated.

  22. Our bishop closed my church, St. Gerard’s, and I was all mad and bitter but then I had to find somewhere new to go to Mass and that is how I discovered the Latin mass, which changed my life! So that is one good thing. The other good thing is this miracle. Well, I think it is a miracle. I have been dying to tell this story so here goes:

    Everything was great with me except I was worried about my old church, Gerard’s, which is a model of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome and was built by German and Italian immigrants and was now being left tragically to rot on this inner-city Buffalo street corner where there was NO hope for it. One day I was passing this church, this magnificent place I love and where I got married five years ago, and right there, in my car, I said a prayer. I said, “God, please do something for St. Gerard’s. I am SO HAPPY that I have found the Latin mass and gone back to Confession after 20 years (that is a whole other story) but everything is not perfect, because of St. Gerard’s. I do not want St. Gerard’s to rot and I do not want it to become a microbrewery or a mosque or even a Protestant church. I can’t imagine what the solution is, God. But please do something.”

    Something like three days after that the paper ran a front page story about how this congregation from Georgia had come forward and was going to pay to move Gerard’s, piece by piece, down to Georgia! it is going to be a Catholic church, named for the Blessed Mother. Since my name is Mary I take this personally!

    That was something like six months ago and the outrageous plan is going forward.

    I would say “brick by brick” the way you do, Father Z, but Gerard’s is stone, so — stone by stone! Who would have dreamed this?? All I can think was, a lot of people were praying for St. Gerard’s, and our prayers were answered. I wrote about it on my blog at http://marykunzgoldman.com/2008/10/disappearing-acts.html back when it happened in case anyone wants to read about it. Anyway: Every once in a while you get that reminder that your faith is for real and this was one of those reminders for me. Whenever I am having a bad day I just think about it and I cheer right up. Deo Gratias!

  23. I attended our university’s Respect for Life dinner last night, where we honored Justin Cardinal Rigali, and I had the blessing of sitting next to him at dinner. He was very encouraging, and after all was over he gathered all the young people to him and gave us a beautiful exhortation to continue our pro-life work and our Catholic faith.

    I have my psychological evaluation for the Augustinians scheduled for April 24! Hopefully they realize I’m crazy, or else I’ll never get in :)

    Last night at our Palm Sunday Mass, the Novus Ordo was celebrated with the use of incense, chant, Latin, and a beautiful pipe organ. It was the best NO Mass I’ve ever seen at the university, and it really reminded me of what the Holy Father meant about the gravitational pull of the EF on the OF.

  24. Maggie J. says:

    I am grateful Father Z posted this thread.
    I am grateful to the Lord for leading me to the Catholic faith.
    I am grateful for the traditional Mass.
    I am grateful that I am no longer a lost soul.
    I am grateful to be alive and healthy.
    I am grateful that even though I have been out of work for two years, I am able to continue my studies in college.
    I am grateful for the High Mass, Holy Week and the Catholic church.

  25. David says:

    I made my temporary profession as a Lay Carmelite this past Saturday.

  26. Jayna says:

    I am grateful that my pastor has finished his treatment and is back with us healthy and happy. I am also grateful for his guidance and friendship. Truthfully, I am grateful for all the priests in our parish. I am grateful for my professors who are so committed to preparing all of us grad students for the hard road ahead. I am grateful for the Triduum and the inspiration it gives me every year. I am grateful for the sacraments of the Eucharist and penance and the wonders they have worked in my life since I returned to the Church.

  27. craig says:

    I struggle with the concept he mentions, of uniting one’s unavoidable suffering to Christ’s and making it “useful”. I understand how one can choose to suffer in order to prevent others’ having to, in order to provide a tangible benefit to others, or in order to set an example for others. What I don’t understand is how suffering by itself is of any benefit; it seems like the proverbial sound of the tree falling in the forest with no-one to hear. I don’t get it. Can anyone help?

  28. Anonymous Just This Once says:

    I have a fantastic spiritual director. Moreover, God has been allowing me to hear His love

  29. marnie says:

    I am grateful that my husband is home from the hospital.
    I am grateful that with the intercession of John Paul II, the Lord has healed his body.
    I am grateful he has shown me that my trust in him has grown.
    I am gratefully waiting for Him to convert my husband’s heart.
    I am grateful for those people (Fr. Z, Fr. Roderick, Fr. Jay and so many other Catholic bloggers and podcasters) who like the friends of the paraplegic have brought me to the presence of our Lord.

  30. Maureen says:

    In and of itself, suffering is not anything.

    If you give your suffering (or anything else you have) to Christ, He will use it. How? You may never know until Judgment Day. But St. Paul tied it into Christ’s redemptive suffering; and that makes sense, since we are part of Christ’s Body and thus tied into Him.

    Obviously, God doesn’t _need_ anything from us; but He delights in anything we choose to give Him, or even the slightest attempt at cooperation with Him out of love or goodwill. And suffering is something Jesus apparently has close to His heart, because He chose to suffer and has suffered Himself.

    All of which goes to say that I don’t understand it myself; but I don’t understand any of the great Mysteries, so that’s not too surprising. :)

  31. Joan Ellen says:

    These comments are so uplifting! So Catholic! So appreciated! Thanks to Fr. for this and to all who comment! The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments, the saints, prayers, God’s help, etc. What more could we possibly need? So much to be thankful for in this life.

    Craig…I was always asking a cousin of mine to pray for others. Realizing that perhaps I was overwhelming him, I sent him this computer generated business card…
    LITTLE TREASURE CHEST

    God, please make me a treasure chest in my soul, where my prayers, works, joys and sufferings can go, for my family, friends, neighbors, and others who need them too.

    Then please join my LITTLE TREASURE CHEST to The Cross as my little gift to you.

    I don’t know if it helped him or not (he since died), but I find it does help me some because I toss everything, but my sins, in there.

  32. Jane says:

    I am finding to my joy that in difficult situations when I silently say the prayer recommended by St. John Bosco:

    Mary Help of Christians pray for us

    (I also add: please help me in this situation),

    and conjure up in my mind the battle of Lepanto and the victory obtained there through Our Lady’s intercession, she does indeed come to my aid and speedily also.

    St John Bosco says that this prayer will never be said in vain.

  33. Supertradmom says:

    I am extremely grateful that my son has been completely healed of migraine headaches, which he has had for 18 years, through the intercession of Father Rother, whose cause for beatification is at http://www.catharchdioceseokc.org/history/rotherindex.htm

  34. AuroraChristina says:

    I was once dead. Now I live.
    I am grateful for Our Savior.
    I am grateful for second, third and fourth chances.
    I am grateful He called me home to the Church;
    that He would have me confirmed; have me pray; have me serve Him in vocation.
    I am grateful for Papa Benedict.
    I am grateful for all those who defend the faith.
    I am grateful for my Guardian angel; for the heavenly host; for all the saints who have gone before and who intercede for us slackers.
    I am grateful for my confessors.
    I am grateful for the prayers of the Church. And Latin.
    I am grateful for bacon and all other good and perfect things.
    And I am grateful for all of you!

    Have a blessed Holy Week!

  35. Five-year Catholic says:

    I am grateful for being taught to serve the EF Low Mass for a priest all last week. (I am grateful for my youth and health that permits kneeling on a stone floor at six in the morning!)

    I am grateful that Holy Saturday marks my fifth year of being rescued from Godlessness and received into Holy Mother Church. Where would I be without Christ?

    I am grateful that my wife and I have conceived a child after almost five years of praying. I am grateful for the prayers of St. Jude Thaddeus, St. Anne, St. Valentine, and the Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos.

  36. Ray says:

    My six-year-old daughter cried while we watched the local procession of Christ crucified (El Stsmo. Cristo del Perdon). She gets it! Praise God.

  37. Immaculatae says:

    We have 29 being Baptised. These are a part of the 54 persons receiving
    Holy Communion and Confirmation.

    We have three men from our parish who are Seminarians home with us for Holy Week.
    We will have all 5 of our Priests concelebrating the Easter Vigil.
    Tomorrow I get to attend the Chrism Mass. :)

  38. Joanne says:

    Hi, Kelly! Hope to see you around 02114 at some point soon!

    My good news is that I went to Confession today and had an opportunity before and after Confession for Eucharistic Adoration.

  39. craig says:

    I am grateful for Maureen and Joan Ellen above — thanks, y’all, for your replies to my question. (But I’m an engineer; even when I can grasp the why of things, I can’t help wanting to understand the how. Occupational hazard.)