Psalm 27:1-14. Deliver me not unto the desires of my enemies. False accusers have risen up against me.Many are they that are cruel to me.
I would have failed, yet I believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. So ! I am telling you again; “Wait on the Lord, be of good confidence and courage. The Lord will strengthen you in all ways, wait and trust in the Lord God, our Father.”

In life there are many moments when our understanding of events fails us. No matter how much we attempt to gain insight about an event, or a series of circumstances, we just cannot determine the reasons why, or the outcome of them all.
God, our Heavenly Father, comprehends all of these events, though. Our Heavenly Father perceives the entire puzzle of Life. He cares about each individual piece, bit by bit.

An example of this care that our God has for our lives occurred in the late 1600’s.  During those days of ‘Early American Settlement’ there was cruel hostility between the Native Tribes, and the European travelers who were settling here in this *New Found Land*.  One case is documented in the annals of settlers' history. There was a Native Tribe’s male child who was captured by the ‘visitors from Europe,’  was taken to Europe, and displayed in a cage. Many of the "civilized" people of the cities would go and gawk, poke, and laugh, at this *Savage from the Americas*.
The boy during this parade had no understanding of what this was all about.
As time moved forward the Native grew and was able to escape the cruelty of these people.
He escaped to refuge in a monastery filled with non-judgmental, loving, and Christ centered men and women.  The man learned English, began reading, and studying the Scriptures. The man had identified with one major character of the New Testament Gospels. The character was Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph, the Christ. This *Savage from America* had encountered the Love of our Savior, and how He was beaten and nailed to a cross, yet forgave those who did such terrible harm to Him.      After years of being away from his motherland, the Native returned to the North Eastern section of land, today known as the USA.  Upon arriving he heard and observed the troubles that were rampant here among the ‘Settlers’ and ‘Tribal People’. The settlers were having trouble raising crops for food.
Starvation and malnutrition was breaking out and in evidence everywhere.  Among the Natives an anti-settler rage was also growing and resulted in torture, animosity, and all out war became the norm of the time.
Worse could have occurred !!!  If not for this Native. This Indian who had experienced the Grace of God in his life, began to represent the two sides of this human battlefield. Stepping forth with a Confident Boldness that only Faith in God can give. This man spoke to the Tribal Indians and to the Settlers, about how a ‘Man’ named Jesus, forgave, loved, and brought Peace to all. The words of agreement began to draw both sides of the battling peoples together in Peace. The Influence of Christ shone throughout the Land. Sharing of knowledge of how to grow crops became more common and aided the settlers. The knowledge of the colonists was also shared with the Native People. *Peace at last*
There is in this month the celebration of memorial to this Day of Peace.  The date on the calendar is November 22, also known as **Thanksgiving Day**!!

In reading the above we are also brought to remember the Scripture *Romans 8:28* !!!
In Thanksgiving to All University Students, Everywhere !!!!
                                                                                     Br. Phil Bara


Oh !! October, the month of the Harvest celebrations, and Oktoberfest, and of course, Halloween.
Every year at this time people hang webs, bats, bones, and ghosts in there every nook and cranny.  This is good, I guess !!   Yet there is an origin to this eve of separation, or hallowedness if you prefer.
The evening activity actually began during the pre-Christian days with a few groups of people known as the Druids, and the Celts, of North-Western Europe. Most inhabiting the Isles of Great Britain. On this evening, usually around the full Moon, the Druids believed that a lord of Evil and Darkness, Saman would summon all his followers together to cause mayhem in the villages.  To ward off the "attack" of the evil ones, the Druids would light fires, both large and small, get dressed in animal hides with masks, and make music to dance.
This was done to rid the village and its surrounding area of the ghosts, and evil spirits.
The other side of the Island was where a similar, yet different tribe of people, the Celts, would gather in large dancing circles. They believed that the lost souls, the forgotten ones, and the ghosts of people past , would travel around seeking rest in homes, trees, and persons.
The Catholic Church began to tell these clans about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet the people
still desired the celebration of the harvest feasts during this  time of year. The Church using Wisdom decided to make November 1st, a feast day.  This harmonized with the celebrations that the villagers of other European societies of the time held, and not only in Great Britain.

The original intent of the practices of the early people has long left the scene in our part of the world.  The transformation into a time of costumes, games, fun, or activities has greatly eliminated the spiritistic element of the occasion.
I prefer to tell of a Ghost, a Spirit, a Person, Who is far greater than all the ghosts, goblins, hauntings, and other specters of this time of "Hallowed Evening" who were feared by our ancestors.  This Ghost has existed since the Beginning, is Now, and always will Be. This Person is known by many Names, all of them pointing to the Divine Purpose.  Some of these Names are: The Reality of God’s Presence, Advocate, Comforter, Guide, Counselor, Protector, Leading Light, the Restoring Breath, Source of Eternal Life, and Holy Ghost. The names, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Christ, and Ghost of Glory, have also been added as time proceeded.
Throughout the history of the Catholic Christian Church there have been many occurrences when the "Holy Ghost of God’s Glory" (Shekinah) has manifested Himself.
In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, on the day of Pentecost, there was a  mighty rushing Wind. The "Presence of God" descended upon the believers of Jesus Christ, as they were assembled in prayer.  At that moment He also made them his Temple wherein to dwell.  This monumental moment began the era of bold sharing of the Truth of Jesus Christ, as the Resurrected King. The Hours of the Good News of Salvation, Evangelization of the World, and the Reality of the Kingdom of God had begun.
The once timid now became as bold as ‘Lions,’ filled with Power from God.
Today,  approximately 2012 years later this Holy Comforter, Spirit of Christ, Holy Ghost, is still very active changing lives, healing dis-ease, and giving Life to many who request in prayer.
"He makes holy the souls of the just by His presence. But a Spirit is not present in the sense of taking up space. We say a Spirit is present wherever it causes an effect. In the soul, the Holy Spirit transforms it, making it basically capable of taking in, after death, the infinite streams of knowledge and love that flow within the Holy Trinity. Thus we are really "sharers in the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). This is a dignity so great that any earthly honor is insignificant beside it."
[Rev. William G. Most]
During this month of ghosts, goblins, bats, and other scary things, lets also focus and remind ourselves that there is a Ghost that is Holy.  The One who Comforts, Protects, Guides, and Loves us.
Not only during the month of October, but throughout all the year, even Eternally !!!
                                            “Fear Not, for I am with Thee !!”
                                                                                            Br. Phil Bara
                            “Come Holy Ghost, and Refresh the Hearts of Your People !!”


Hebrews, 12;22 - 24
22 But what you have come to is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem where the millions of angels have gathered for the festival,
23 with the whole Church of first-born sons, enrolled as citizens of heaven. You have come to God himself, the supreme Judge, and to the spirits of the upright who have been made perfect;
24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,  to purifying blood which pleads more insistently than Abel's.

Wow !! I have just read this Scripture about the church. Now I realize that the message found in this is about the wholeness of the church (the Catholicity).  I am just taking this a bit closer to home, a little bit more personally.
Every time I enter “St. Christopher’s Catholic Church”. The meaning of these Scriptures comes to come to my mind.
I enter into the **Presence of our King Jesus Christ**, not only in spirit but in physical form also. There is a metal container on the side (my right side as I face Center Stage) where the Host of the Eucharist is . Considering the belief that this Host is the Presence of Jesus Christ, this would mean that I am therefore bathed in the very Presence of God !!
I am not going to elaborate on the many gyrations that others manifest before this metal object, as I have witnessed many doing, throughout my years of Eucharistic Visitation.  I personally behave differently as I reverence the Reality of the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ found at the tabernacle.
The Presence and Face of Jesus Christ is also found at such places as a beautiful sun rise, sun set, a star filled sky, and the smile of a baby. Let’s also see His Face in the many less cheerful settings throughout the Earth. The Lord’s
Presence is also where the hurting, starving victims of political manipulation, and the deceived intellectuals gather.
I am praying that the many that gaze endlessly at the metal container will open their hearts to the fact that Jesus Christ arrived here on Earth, to set the captive free. May I with Love as my motivation, begin to tell others of this need to be set free. The need we all have to see His Presence in the many every day moments of our lives, and the many faces of those who are suffering.
It is through action that we can begin a liberating effect that will cause many others to perceive the Presence and Face of Jesus Christ everywhere. The Scripture states this fact of liberation in the Second Letter to the Corinthians; that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty. [2 Cor. 3;17] Little by little, each of us sharing with each other the Love of Jesus Christ, will finally fill this Earth with the Kingdom of God .
                                                                                                 Br.Phil Bara



   How wonderful it is to realize that our Father Creator’s thoughts are about us and for us. We find in the Scriptures that we ought to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us.  Now with this in mind, how many times do we focus our thoughts upon His things?

Our thoughts take many forms:
We allow our thoughts to be about such subjects as a better job, a bigger, newer vehicle, a larger house, next week’s entertainment, and even where we will have our vacation two years from now.  Oh !  How many more thoughts clutter our minds throughout the day!!   

Many of us have been taught that our Father in Heaven, will and does provide us with all that we need. Many of us have also awakened to the fact that when we delight ourselves in Him, He calms the nervous desires of our hearts.  

How many times have we prayed in desperation in our lives? How many times did we find that what we had requested had not been granted, or when it was granted, anxiety, worry, and responsibilities were increased.   Why did this happen?  The answer to this is revealed in the Bible, both in the Old Testament, and also in the New Testament.  During the historic days of the Book of Exodus, we read that the Israelites were set free from slavery. The first days of their deliverance were filled with Joy, and Celebration. As the days of travel turned into weeks, and months, the people began to turn their attention to the new requirements of ‘free’ living. Their focus of attention became filled with thoughts of; How? Where? Why? Who ?  The more these questions filled their minds, the more they forgot about the *One* Who had set them free. Complaining about the journey became a daily routine, and Joy became a memory. The anxiety caused by their comforts not being provided for, caused them to travel in circles for years.   
 In the New Testament we can read about a married couple who also placed their material desires ahead of the spiritual needs of the community. The Book known as ‘The Acts’ tells of this husband and wife who thought that it was more important to dishonestly keep a part of their material blessing for themselves. The result of their self centered behavior had a very detrimental effect on their future plans.  

Taking just these few historic events into consideration. We can see the importance of the statement “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Way of doing things...” in our journey here on Earth. The aim of our dedication here is to be focused upon how we devote ourselves to our King Jesus Christ.
As we do this we also need to keep our desires aligned with His purpose for us. When we do this we find that we receive ‘Blessings’ and that these ‘Blessings’ are given so that we may ‘Bless’ others.  We are entering the colorful months, the months of Harvest. These months ahead are filled with many beautiful changes in Nature for us to admire. We receive these many ‘Blessings’, not to horde them only for ourselves, but to share them and allow others to be ‘Blessed’ with us. Together we can remind each other to give Adoration and Dedication to the *One* that ‘Blesses’. 
As this has been said by many of the Saints before us; “It is in Blessing, that we are Blessed.”  So, Let’s be ‘Blessed’ in this month of September!!
                                  Br. Phil Bara
 **May All Students be Blessed, In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Blesser!!** 



24 Do you not realise that, though all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, only one of them gets the prize? Run like that -- to win.
25 Every athlete concentrates completely on training, and this is to win a wreath that will wither, whereas ours will never wither.
26 So that is how I run, not without a clear goal; and how I box, not wasting blows on air.
27 I punish my body and bring it under control, to avoid any risk that, having acted as herald for others, I myself may be disqualified.  (1 Corinthians, chapter 9)
The summer Olympics are presently being played in London, England. Many athletes from around the world are contending for a gold, silver, and bronze medal of Earthly glory. The training and diligent discipline that many have dedicated themselves to in the past years have prepared them for this testing moment.  The glory of triumph fills the hearts of the
many who vicariously celebrate their favorite athletes' accomplishments.  Yet as spectacular as these victories are, in a few years, the names of the winners will be forgotten. The placement of their records will be filed away into annals of history.
The Olympics are exciting to watch, the energy deployed touches our emotions, and we are happy for the many who participate.  This is all good.   Yet there is a contest, a race, a tournament, that we all participate in.  This "Olympiad" is of a far more magnificent
rating. The standard has already been set, the prize already purchased. As I read in 1 Corinthians 9, starting at verse 24,
St. Paul mentions about this race, this tournament of a Heavenly nature. We as team members of the Heavenly Kingdom, must also prepare, exercise, and train ourselves. This, of course, entails denying ourselves the gratification of our pleasures so that we not hinder our chance for victory. We must practice daily  to develop our abilities so that we can  reach the goals that have been set before us. The prize, the level of triumph, the trophy, is waiting for us. The crown of victory is now with our King of Victory, Jesus Christ, who is ready to present it to us. Similar to the athletes of the Olympics, we must not rest on yesterday's winnings. We must focus and set our selves to achieving today's test. We must continue to move forward in progressing to the finish line. The importance of our finishing is also far greater in Glory than the Earthly glory of the present Olympics in London. The ensign of our triumph is eternal, and everlasting in recognition. With this set before us let's remain poised toward perfection in our dedication to this tournament. May we remain enthusiastic in our
endeavors, till finally we joyfully hear our Champion say: “Well done !! Good and Faithful Friend !! Enter in and Rest !!”
Br. Phil Bara


"'If you can?' said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." The father then requested, “I do believe, help my unbelief.”  This is the Scripture that awakened my meditative self this evening.
As I attended the weekly Bible Study at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church.  I was surprised at the depth of the description that was both attention getting, and entertaining.  The awareness of the fact that commitment, obedience with Faith, will cause us to receive the
many things that we request from our Heavenly Father. This was illustrated by the scene when our Lord Jesus healed the epileptic son of a believing, sincere, and requesting dad. The scene also
cast light upon a Faith fact, that even when things seem "dead", our Lord Jesus will reach out, take us by the hand, and raise us up. Whatever the situation may be, Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.
In the many events of our life there are times when we ask with seemingly no results forthcoming, till we do even more like give up certain areas that may be pleasurable. This would be called fasting. There is a Fasting that I do,it can be found in Isaiah 58:6 -12.   Many times I have received that which I have asked in prayer by following this fasting regime.

I also learned two new Latin phrases that amazed me in their meaning; Ex opere operato, which means the sacrament has the quality of effective Grace contained in its specific nature. 
The other was Ex opere operantis, which is the fullness of the expression of the sacrament united to the spiritual depth of the individual imparting the sacrament and to the spiritual depth (faith) of those receiving it. This really was a confirming fact for me because many times when I was ‘prayed up’, the sacrament was much more meaningful. 

In addition to the Scriptural explanation there was a discussion about how through a short span of ecclesiastical years the Bible gained widespread popular importance in the Roman Catholic Church. When we take the many years of the Church’s Life, the time span from Pope Leo XIII, to the present Pope Benedict XVI, is a relatively short period of time. The changes of Vatican I and Vatican II, really assisted in the furtherance of understanding the ‘Set of Books’ known as The Bible among the faithful. 
For many whot get confused in the many sets of Character changing values, and Life transforming statements, be comforted that in the Catholic Faith is found the stability of Tradition, as well as
the Truth of God’s Word.  Put these two Realities together and we have a Fortress that will not be overthrown because “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”.
I could continue with the many eye opening bits of knowledge that were gained during my night at the ‘Bible Study’ with St. Christopher’s gathering. To really get a ‘Bite Out of the Bible’ come out on Wednesday nights at St. Christopher’s Bible Study gathering .
                                                                                   Br. Phil Bara



Isaiah 6:8--- Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send ? Who will go for us ?”  I said, “ Here I am. Send me!”
New International Version (NIV)
The question that lingers, and has lingered for many ages is  “ Who will go?”  This question has presently awakened many, yet there are many who still wait on the sidelines for others to take the necessary actions.  We see that the areas of social growth are still based on the many moral half truths, recreational titillations, and the soothing of ‘itching ears’.
The Scripture Isaiah 6:8, was written over a thousand years ago. The Truth of the verse is still very much as effective today as then. When we prepare ourselves with the fullness of the Word of God, we amaze the listeners to a point that the facts are gathered like ripe grapes, and put to productive use.  The amazement is not always positive.  Some take the grapes and  tread angrily on them because the taste is too difficult to savor.
In my answer to the important question concerning going, I refer to the response that Isaiah gave above. The one’s who will go, are the few, who diligently study, discipline themselves to the point of limitation, and prepare their entire selves for the mission. Future society will only listen to the
teachers, guides, and ministers, who are prepared to convey the ‘Truth, Reality, and the Wisdom’ that has been experienced, and proven.  The cost of this evolution with ‘mankind’ still is paid for with the determination, sweat, tears, and blood, of the *True Students and Disciples* of today .
So in ending this I also ask “ Who will go ?”
Br. Phil Bara