Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pray40Days


The book is now available here: http://www.theprodigalfatherproductions.org/prayer-aids/


What if I told you right now that in these next 40 days your prayer life could be set on fire? What if I told you that within our own Catholic Faith Tradition we have all the tools that can allow us to receive the Holy Spirit and experience God the Father as a tender, caring, deeply personal presence in our lives? What if Jesus were actually real to us and we realized that in Baptism we are actually baptized into Christ? What if the Holy Spirit was not just some ambiguous, abstract idea, but a real personal force of inspiration, presence, and overwhelming joy in our lives? Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it?

Introducing... Pray40Days



What is Pray40Days?
Pray40Days is a 40-day fitness program for your soul. And regardless of where you are at spiritually, your soul (just like your body) requires some maintenance and TLC in order to stay healthy. So whatever your physical condition, why not commit to strengthening your pray life this Lent - that's a fitness plan that we can ALL benefit from (and have fun doing)!



Everyone will benefit from Pray40Days regardless of your prayer level!


How Does It Work?

There are two main ways to do the program, one is through an App and website, the other is a book companion. If you're not tech savvy, the book companion is all you'll need, and if you're not big on reading -well we have an App for that! Or if you'd like the full experience you can use both in addition to other online resources that will be made available, including a weekly spiritual coaching session with Fr. Michael Denk through Blab. Pray40Days can be done individually, as a family, or in a small group with friends or fellow parishioners. There is also a parish wide mission format available (although limited for Lent 2016).

How much time is this going to take? Well with any fitness regimen, you get what you put in -but this program is designed to be done in just 15 minutes a day!


How Can I Sign-Up? 
So are you ready to grow closer to God this Lent? If so, please SIGN-UP to our mailing list in order to receive email updates as to how you can participate in the Pray40Days Program, beginning the first week of Lent. There is NO COST to sign-up and we won't use your information for any other purpose than to keep you informed about the Pray40Days Program, as more information will be forthcoming! 




If you have questions or would like more information, please email: FrMichael@TheProdigalFather.org

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Something way better than giving up chocolate for Lent!

Challenge yourself to something greater than just giving up chocolate this Lent, grow in your prayer life by learning to Pray Like A Pirate, Meditate, Relax with Scripture, Pray with your Senses, and MUCH MORE! Everyone will benefit from Pray40Days, regardless of your prayer level!





This Lent I will be launching a brand new program called Pray40Days!


If you are familiar with the workout programs Insanity or P90x think of this as your killer prayer program for Lent!  This Lent don't give up something like chocolate!  Challenge yourself to something greater!

Every Lent we are called to make a resolution of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  Have you ever made a resolution to increase your prayer?  This Lent you can with Pray40Days!

To get a sneak peak, and be highly entertained join us Tomorrow (Wednesday) live at 8:30pm on Blab!

I'll tell you all about it along with my high energy Co-Host Olivia Sliman (From YouTube's Olivia's Got Talent Tuesday!)

Subscribe Here for the live event!


I will also be doing live spiritual direction over the course of Pray40Days on Blab!



Look forward to seeing you there!

Fr. Michael

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Life's A Mess, But Never Too Messy For God To Clean



On my days off, I often get to spend time with my brother priests. We spend the day together and many times, we tell our “war stories” of events that happen to us over the past week. It is usually an enjoyable time of good reflection. Once in a while, something happens that is really, really, funny. That is the story I want to share with you today. It is a little bit gross, but I hope you will be okay with it. 

Audio Version Available - Click To Listen

Last week, Father Steve had a Baptism for a beautiful baby girl dressed in a white dress. He performed the Baptism, pouring the water over the baby, saying, "I Baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." It is a beautiful moment. The mother takes the baby in her arms. A moment later, Father Steve notices a horrible smell. A smell that you cannot believe a tiny little infant can produce. He says it was so bad that he started gagging. I said, "Well, were you able to hide your expression from the family?" He said, "I didn't have to. They were all doing the same thing!"

Now, the mother, of course, was horrified. She has this brand new Baptized baby who has just messed herself. All the mother wants to do is get this baby clean. Father Steve finishes the Baptism and the mother cleans the baby. Everything is okay in the end. The family was just laughing about that experience. How moments after being Baptized and the baby is made clean, she messes herself. I think it is a wonderful image of sin and a wonderful image of how we struggle with messiness in life. And how God looks at us.

First of all, I want you to focus on the mother looking at her child. When that child messed herself right after being Baptized, the mother's love did not change for her child. She still loves her child with unconditional love. She did want to get her baby clean, but she did love her with unconditional love.

Last Sunday we celebrated, The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Jesus came to John the Baptist to be Baptized, not because He needed to be freed from sin, but because He wanted to enter into our experience of this Baptism. He wanted to take on our sin and experience not only taking on sin, but being cleansed of it.

From the beginning of creation with Adam and Eve, who God made in this perfect Garden of Eden, and giving one rule, which they messed-up. Over the years, in generations, it just kept getting worse and worse. So God washed all of creation with the flood. He brought about new life with Noah. And wouldn't you know it, mankind messed it up again. God is so patient with us. He continues to love us. He finally said, "The only way that I am going to get through to them is if I send my only begotten Son, to take on the sin of mankind through Baptism." So God sent Jesus into our World.

Here is the amazing thing. The day that you were Baptized – which I'm sure you won’t remember - (I sure don't remember mine.) you became Christ. It is through the words that we speak in the Sacrament of the Baptism, that we become Christ; you are Baptized into Christ Jesus. At that very moment, as God looked at you, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit came down, and God said to you, "You are my beloved son" or "You are my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased." From that very moment on, God looks at you as Christ. God looks at you with nothing but unconditional love. But just like that baby, we tend to mess ourselves, right?

I use the analogy of confession, too. Think of the last time you went to confession, or even the last time you went to Sunday Mass. You walk out of Mass and you are going to have a good week, right? And then you get into the parking lot and everything changes. All of a sudden you mess yourself.

The reality is, we do this and we keep doing it, but it never changes how God looks at us. He always looks at us as His beloved son and His beloved daughter in whom He is well pleased. He looks at you and He sees Christ. In Baptism, you became Christ. He does like to clean us. He doesn't want to allow us to just sit in our mess. Our sin is like that baby. The mess doesn't just affect us. Everybody else can smell it, believe it or not. Everybody else is impacted by our sin. God wants to restore us and reconcile us and wash us, and heal our relationships, and bring us back into communion with the Church and with Him. There is only one Baptism for us, but there are two more ways for us to experience this cleansing and this forgiveness of sin.

The first is the Sacrament of Confession. This year we are celebrating the Year of Mercy. One of the things the Holy Father really wants is to welcome everyone to the Sacrament of Confession. I encourage you, whether it has been months, years, or even if it has been since you were in grade school, to experience the wonderful Sacrament of Confession. There is no unforgivable sin. There is no mess in your life that God cannot clean up. It is the wonderful experience of His unconditional love for you.

The second way that we experience cleansing is at the Eucharist. Every time we come to Mass and receive the Eucharist, we are cleansed of our sins. Every Mass begins with the Penitential Rite, where we take a moment to call to mind our sins and ask God to grant us pardon and peace. Every Sunday, when you come to Mass and actually offer your sins during the Penitential Rite and receive Communion, you are made clean once more. Chances are, you are going to mess yourself before you get home, but remember that God still loves you. He looks at you just like that mother looks at her child. It doesn't change anything. She still looks at her child with unconditional love, but she wants to clean her up.

God the Father looks at you as His beloved sons and daughters. As we celebrated this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and Jesus heard that voice echo from the heavens, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," that voice echoes every time we celebrate Mass, every time you receive Communion, every time you go to Confession, the voice of God says, "You are My beloved Son. You are my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased."

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year 2016!

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

In Baptism each and every one of us were baptized into Christ. From that moment on that’s your identity. In you, God see’s Christ. So on the Feast Day of Mary the Mother of God, we also celebrate Mary as our mother. Do you think she looks at us in the same way, as Jesus? I wonder Mary did you know that 2,000 years later Christ would still be working in all the good her sons and daughters in Christ would be doing to this very day...


Fr. Michael Performs "Mary Did You Know" - Click To Listen

So just remember as we begin 2016 with the Feast of Mary the Mother of God, and just as she delighted in holding that child in her hand 2,000 years ago, she delights in holding each and every one of us as brothers and sisters of Christ in Baptism.


Click To Listen To The Entire Homily