Welcome to Couples for Christ - Foundation for Family and Life East Contra Costa

The CFC Foundation for Family & Life is a gathering of concerned CFC brethren looking to the restoration, preservation and strengthening of the authentic Couples for Christ charism, focused on evangelization and family life renewal.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Worthy Brief - 6/26/2008

CFC, don't get burned!

Proverbs 6:27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

June 12, is independence day for the Philippines. In 1991 the day was forever marked by one of the strongest volcano eruptions in history. Mount Pinatubo, dormant for over 500 years, began to erupt, and three days later exploded with twice the power of the 1980 Mount St. Helen's eruption. The release of power blasted a cubic mile off the mountaintop and the earth shook for eight hours. The eruption produced an ash cloud that rose over 50,000 feet into the atmosphere. If that wasn't enough, Typhoon Yunga then struck the island nation with fierce winds and torrential rains which mixed with the ash creating what the locals called "Black Saturday!"

The United States was forced to abandon and eventually close Clark Air Force base, located just a few miles from Mount Pinatubo, due to the devastating blanket of fallen ash. When a vulcanologist was asked to account for the widespread damage which sent thousands of American soldiers and Filipinos fleeing, he replied, "When a volcano is silent for many years, people forget it's a volcano and begin to treat it like a mountain."

Now here's a lesson from nature. We should always be aware of how our sinful nature has the potential to erupt. It would be a big mistake to ignore this possibility simply because it has lain dormant for a season...even a seemingly long one.

Solomon writes a profound statement in his book of Proverbs, which, when paraphrased goes something like this; "Can someone play with fire in his lap without incinerating his clothes?"

The enemy of our souls would love for us to believe that we can somehow play with sin, without it negatively affecting our spirit and our walk with the Lord -- oh how deceptive Satan can be!

D.L. Moody was a fairly simple man and I love the way he dealt with sin. He said, "When you're thinking sin, think scripture!"

CFC, let's be on guard! Sin is a dormant volcano which can erupt at ANY moment and set our house on fire. How do we prepare? First, by being aware of the possibility...then...;"Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee". [Psalm 119:11] Let's meditate upon His Word, allowing it to sink deep into our minds and our hearts, so that the only fire which burns there...is the fire of God's Holy Spirit. Amen.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Worthy Brief - 6/19/2008

CFC-FFL, anyone can be restored!

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

There is a fascinating true story about the Apostle John narrated by the early church "Father", Eusebius, well worth reading.

The account goes that the elderly John took an affection and interest in a young man from Ephesus and subsequently entrusted him to the care of a bishop in the vicinity, and that, after a season, this young man became entangled with a band of criminals, and was corrupted by them, finally becoming their leader. When John returned after some time to search for the young man, expecting to find him spiritually well and maturing, the bishop despondently informed John of his fate.

Eusebius wrote, "The apostle tore his clothing, beat his head, and groaned, 'A fine guardian I left for our brother's soul! But get me a horse and someone show me the way.' He rode off from the church, just as he was. When he arrived at the hideout and was seized by the outlaws' sentries, he shouted, 'This is what I have come for, take me to your leader!'"

"When John approached and the young leader recognized him, he turned and fled in shame. But John ran after him as hard as he could, forgetting his age, and calling out, 'Why are you running away from me, child – from your own father, unarmed and old? Pity me, child, don't fear me! I will give account to Christ for you, and if necessary, gladly suffer death and give my life for yours as the Lord suffered death for us. Stop! Believe! Christ sent me.'"

"The young man stopped, stared at the ground, threw down his weapons and wept bitterly. Flinging his arms around the old man, he begged forgiveness, baptized a second time with his own tears…[John] led him back and did not leave him until – through prayer, fasting, and instruction – he restored him to the church."

What an awesome story! I've used this story many times when talking to the despondent backslider who believes he can no longer be forgiven.

CFC-FFL, be an example of His love! No matter how far someone believes he has strayed from, or even deserted the Lord – he can always be restored! Perhaps, while reading this message, the Lord is reminding you of a person with whom you can share this story. Just possibly, you are the one that God wants to use to bring about his/her restoration. If so, I trust that, reading of the Apostle John's loving example, you've been inspired by the compassion and grace the Lord Himself feels toward His "prodigals", and moved by His Spirit to go out in faith...and rescue the lost sheep!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Daily Gospel

«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Thursday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Romuald

Saint Teresa of Avila : «Your will be done»

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 6,7-15.

In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

Commentary of the day :

Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church
Way of Perfection, ch.32 (©ICS publications)

«Your will be done»

«Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.» O my Lord, what a great comfort this is for me, that you didn't want the fulfillment of Your will to depend on a will as wretched as mine!... I'd be in a fine state, Lord, if it were up to me as to whether or not Your will were to be done! Now I freely give mine to You, even though I do so at a time in which I'm not free of self-interest. For I have felt and have had great experience of the gain that comes from freely abandoning my will to Yours. O friends, what a great gain there is here! Oh, what a great loss there is when we do not carry out what we offer to the Lord in the Our Father!...

Well, I want to advise you and remind you what His will is. Don't fear that it means He will give you riches, or delights, or honors, or all these earthly things. His love for you is not that small, and He esteems highly what you give Him. He wants to repay you well, for He gives you His kingdom while you are still alive... Well, see here, daughters, what He gave to the one He loved most. By that we understand what His will is. For these are His gifts in this world. He gives according to the love He bears us... according to the courage He sees in each and the love each has for His Majesty. He will see that whoever loves Him much will be able to suffer much for Him; whoever loves Him little will be capable of little. I myself hold that the measure for being able to bear a large or small cross is love...

Everything I have advised you about in this book is directed toward the complete gift of ourselves to the Creator, the surrender of our wills to His, and detachment from creatures - and you have understood how important this is-I'm not going to say any more about the matter; but I will explain why our good Master teaches us to say the words mentioned above, as one who knows the many things we gain by rendering this service to His eternal Father. For we are preparing ourselves that we may quickly reach the end of our journey and drink the living water from the fount we mentioned. Unless we give our wills entirely to the Lord so that in everything pertaining to us He might do what conforms with His will, we will never be allowed to drink from this fount.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Take God Out of "Parentheses," Urges Pope

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- If people want to have hope and find meaning in their lives, they need to take God out of the "parentheses," says Benedict XVI.

The Pope affirmed this Monday in the Basilica of St. John Lateran when he inaugurated the ecclesial congress of the Diocese of Rome. The event is under way through Thursday, focused on the theme: "Jesus Has Risen: Educating for Hope in Prayer, Action and Suffering."

The Holy Father referred to the subject of Christian hope, explaining that, "in a certain way, it concerns each of us personally, [...] but it is also a community hope, a hope for the Church and for the entire human family."

"In today's society and culture, and hence also in this our beloved city of Rome, it is not easy to live in an atmosphere of Christian hope," he said. "There is a widespread feeling that, for both Italy and Europe, the best years have passed and that a future of instability and uncertainty awaits the new generations."

"Moreover," the Pontiff added, "hopes for great novelties and improvements are concentrated on science and technology." Yet, "it is not science and technology that can give meaning to our lives and teach us to distinguish good from evil. Indeed, as I wrote in my encyclical 'Spe Salvi,' it is not science that redeems man: Man is redeemed by love, and this applies even in terms of the present world."

Benedict XVI lamented how "our civilization and our culture [...] too often tend to place God in parentheses, to organize personal and social life without him, to maintain that nothing can be known of God, even to deny his existence. But when God is laid aside, [...] all our hopes, great and small, rest on nothing.

"In order, then, to 'educate for hope' -- as we propose in this congress and during the coming pastoral year -- it is necessary, in the first place, to open our hearts, our intellects and all our lives to God, in order to be his credible witnesses among our fellow man."


The Bishop of Rome mentioned some concrete areas in which the Church will work to better the Eternal City.

"An acute and widespread awareness of the evils and problems afflicting the heart of Rome is reawakening the desire for [...] joint commitment," he said. "It is our task to make our own specific contribution, beginning with the decisive question of the education and formation of the person, but also facing with a constructive spirit the many other real problems that often make the lives of those who live in this city wearisome.

"In particular we will seek to promote a form of culture and social organization more favorable to the family and to welcoming life, as well to valuing the elderly who are so numerous among the population of Rome.

"We will work to respond to the crucial needs of work and housing, especially for the young. We will share the commitment to make our city safer and more 'liveable,' but we will work to ensure it is so for everyone, especially the poorest, and to ensure that immigrants who come among us to find a living space in respect for our laws are not excluded."

Benedict XVI concluded his address by encouraging young people to make "the gift of Christian hope" their own, using it "in freedom and responsibility [...] to enliven the future of our beloved city."

A picture is definitely worth 1000 words! God save us!!!

RespectSenator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem.Barack Hussein Obama's photo (that's his real name).... ..the article said he REFUSED TO NOT ONLY PUT HIS HAND ON HIS HEART DURING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, BUT REFUSED TO SAY THE PLEDGE.....how in the world can a man like this expect to be our next Commander-in-Chief????

Is just merely my opinion..

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Has Obama Dissolved His Catholic Advisory Council?

New York, Jun 10, 2008 (CNA).- Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has apparently dissolved his Catholic National Advisory Council. According to the latest information obtained by CNA, evidence of the committee’s continued existence remains elusive.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said in a June 9 press release that there is no mention of the advisory council on the Obama website and Obama’s National Catholic Outreach Coordinator has not responded to Catholic League inquiries about the council.

In recent months two Catholic advisors to Obama have been the subject of controversy. One of Obama’s Catholic advisers, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, was recently rebuked by Archbishop of Kansas City Joseph Naumann because of her pro-abortion views and asked by the archbishop not to present herself for Holy Communion.

The other Obama advisor who has drawn fire is Chicago priest Fr. Michael Pfleger who reportedly withdrew his name from the Advisory Council after video of him mocking Obama’s Democratic opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton was publicized. Amid critical media coverage, Fr. Pfleger was asked by Cardinal Francis George, the Archbishop of Chicago, to take a two-week leave of absence from his parish.

Bill Donohue had called on Sen. Obama to dissolve the campaign’s Catholic National Advisory Council because of what he said was the senator’s selection of “dissident Catholics.” Donohue said most of the public officials on the council had a 100 percent rating from NARAL, a pro-abortion group.

Noting the lack of publicity for the Catholic National Advisory Council, Donohue said “It would appear, then, that the group no longer exists.”

The Catholic League informed CNA on Tuesday that no further information on the fate of the advisory council has surfaced. The League also pointed to a report from BeliefNet in which one of the advisory council’s members said that she chats on the phone with other members, but does nothing more.

Obama’s Catholic National Advisory Council Members (as published May 12, 2008)

Former Congressman Tim Roemer of Indiana Sr. Catherine Pinkerton, Congregation of St. Joseph Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont Representative Xavier Becerra of California Representative Lacy Clay of Missouri Representative Rosa. DeLauro of Connecticut - Representative Anna Eshoo of California Representative Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona Representative George Miller of California Representative Linda Sanchez of California Mary Jo Bane, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School Nicholas P. Cafardi, Catholic Author and Scholar, Pittsburgh, PA Lisa Sowle Cahill, Professor of Theology, Boston College Tom Chabolla, Assistant to the President, Service Employees International Union M. Shawn Copeland, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College Ron Cruz, Leadership Development Consultant, Burke, VA Sharon Daly, Social Justice Advocate, Knoxville, MD Richard Gaillardetz, Murray / Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies, University of Toledo Grant Gallicho, Associate Editor, Commonweal Magazine Margaret Gannon, IHM, A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA Don Guter, Judge Advocate General of the Navy (2000-2002); Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Pittsburgh, PA Teresa Heinz, Chairman, Heinz Family Philan11J.ropies Cathleen Kaveny, Professor of Law and Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame Victoria Reggie Kennedy, President, Common Sense About Kids and Guns Peggy Kerry, Independent Consultant, New York, NY Jim Kesteloot, President and Executive Director, Chicago Lighthouse Vincent Miller, Associate Professor of Theology, Georgetown University David O'Brien, Loyola Professor of Catholic Studies at the College of the Holy Cross Reverend Michael Pfleger, Pastor of Faith Community of St. Sabina, Chicago, IL Sr. Jamie Phelps, O.P., Director and Professor of Theology, Institute for Black Catholic Studies, Xavier University Peter Quaranto, Senior Researcher and Conflict Analyst, Resolve Uganda (Notre Dame Class of 2006) Dave Robinson, International Peace Advocate, Erie, Pennsylvania Vincent Rougeau, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Mary Wright, Inter-Faith Liaison, Louisville, KY

Worthy Brief - 6/11/2008

CFC, choose the better part!

Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

So often in ministry, the Lord deals with my own spirit, saying – "You need to step back and get refocused!" And we all know how hard it is at times when we get so busy with the normal every day stresses of life tugging at our limited time.

Shortly after my recent return from a speaking tour in the U.S., I was reading the story of Mary and Martha, and how Mary chose the better part, while Martha was doing the housework. Now let's not deny the real importance of housework and practical matters; let's face it, with nobody doing that stuff, what would get done? Life would be a mess! But according to Jesus, something was wrong, and Martha had her priorities out of line. And He made it very clear, Mary had chosen the better part! Mary preferred and chose relationship and intimacy with the Lord over the physical preparations and housework associated with His visit. And Jesus blessed and protected her choice.

And so the Lord has had to remind me, over and again of the importance of intimacy with Him...before getting down to the work!

It's a constant temptation to slip into an emphasis on DOING the work at hand; and even in our own personal prayer time, to be mainly focused on those "urgent ministry needs"...and completely forgetting the most important thing, the "better part"- intimacy, personal communication, just BEING with Him.

CFC, let's resolve to choose intimacy with Jesus! Let's choose the better part! Let's resolve to spend time with the Lord and develop that intimate relationship He so wants with us. That way we will constantly experience how deep and awesome His love for us is. And it will make the work we're called to do -- so much easier!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Daily Gospel

«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Tuesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Getulius & Comp., St Ithamar

Saint John Chrysostom : Salt of the earth

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5,13-16.

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Commentary of the day :

Saint John Chrysostom (c. 345-407), Bishop of Antioch then of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Sermons on Saint Matthew's Gospel, no.15

Salt of the earth

«You are the salt of the earth», the Saviour says, so showing them the necessity of all those precepts he has just proclaimed. «My word,» he says to them, «will not only apply to your own lives but has been entrusted to you for the whole world. I am not sending you out to two towns, nor ten, nor twenty, nor even to a single people as in the case of the prophets in former times. I am sending you out to the earth, the sea, the whole creation (Mk 16,15), wherever evil is rampant.

Indeed, by saying to them: «You are the salt of the earth», he showed them that all human nature is saltless, corrupted by sin. Through their ministry the Holy Spirit's grace will regenerate and preserve the world. Hence he teaches them the virtues of the Beatitudes, those that are most necessary and efficacious in anyone responsible for the multitude. Someone who is gentle, modest, merciful and just does not shut up the good deeds he carries out within himself; he takes care that these lovely springs should also stream out for the good of others. Anyone who has a pure heart, who is a peacemaker, who suffers persecution for the truth is a person who consecrates his life for the good of others.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ten States Petition California To Delay Same-sex Marriages

San Francisco, Jun 2, 2008 (CNA).- Attorneys general from ten states on Friday asked the California Supreme Court to delay until November its ruling implementing legal same-sex marriages.

The attorneys general, all Republicans, said if the ruling is implemented on schedule on June 17, the states would be subjected to lawsuits from homosexual couples married in California who seek to have their unions recognized in their home states, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

"An inevitable result of such 'marriage tourism' will be a steep increase in litigation" over whether the couple's home state must recognize their marriage, said Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who authored the brief. Shurtleff said delaying the implementation of the ruling would save other states from “premature, unnecessary, unnecessarily difficult, and therefore unduly burdensome litigation in our courts.”

The attorneys general of Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina and South Dakota joined the brief.

Each of the ten states has legally banned the recognition of same-sex marriages contracted elsewhere. Unlike Massachusetts, where homosexual marriages have also been legalized, California allows residents of other states to marry even if the marriage would not be legal in their home state.

California voters could overturn the state Supreme Court’s decision in the November 3 election with a constitutional amendment that would declare only opposite-sex marriages to be valid. Sponsors of the amendment have submitted petitions bearing 1.1 million signatures, about 400,000 more signatures than required to qualify for the state ballot.

If the amendment passes, courts will then have to decide whether California same-sex marriages contracted before November 3 were valid.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Worthy Brief - 6/2/2008

CFC, pour yourself out!

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Charles Finney wrote about how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit. He said, "[These infillings] went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this...Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same results. I would they set apart a day for private fasting and prayer...after humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life."

D.L Moody said, "I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled."

CFC, let's get right with the Lord today. Let's set aside some time to get before Him and empty ourselves of the world's influences and our selfish ways that we might be filled with His power and anointing!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Daily Gospel

«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68

Monday, 02 June 2008

Monday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : Sts. Peter & Marcellinus

Saint Catherine of Siena : "I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower" (Jn 15,1)

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 12,1-12.

He began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What (then) will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture passage: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'?" They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.

Commentary of the day :

Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Dominican tertiary, Doctor of the Church, co-patron of Europe
Dialogue 24 (©Classics of Western Spirituality)

"I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower" (Jn 15,1)

Do you know what course I follow, once my servants have completely given themselves to the teaching of the gentle loving Word? I prune them, so that they will bear much fruit-cultivated fruit, not wild. Just as the gardener prunes the branch that is joined to the vine so that it will yield more and better wine, but cuts off and throws into the fire the branch that is barren, so do I the true gardener act (Jn 15,2). When my servants remain united to me I prune them with great suffering so that they will bear more and better fruit, and virtue will be proved in them. But those who bear no fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire (Jn 15,6).

These are the true workers. They till their souls well, uprooting every selfish love, cultivating the soil of their love in me. They feed and tend the growth of the seed of grace that they received in holy baptism. And as they till their own vineyards, so they till their neighbors' as well, for they cannot do the one without the other. You already know that every evil as well as every good is done by means of your neighbors. You, then, are my workers. You have come from me, the supreme eternal gardener, and I have engrafted you onto the vine by making myself one with you... All of you together make up one common vineyard...; are all united in the vineyard of the mystic body of holy Church from which you draw your life. In this vineyard is planted the vine, which is my only-begotten Son, into whom you must be engrafted.